MSPC Newsletter - Term 1 Week 8, 23rd March 2023
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
St Patrick’s Day at Mount St Pat’s
We decided that we should make more of our patron saint’s feast day, as often it passes with a mass and back to class. This year we had three distinctly different events over the course of the day: mass, cross country at Kingscliff and activities back at school. I would like to thank our Leaders of Evangelisation (Grace Molloy), Sport (Tim Whitney) and Wellbeing (Blake Reynolds, Kath Swift, Susan Waters, Brett McCulloch, Cathy Cripps, Jody Van Den Driest and Lauren Bristow) for their organisation. It was a hot day but even at the end students were having fun participating in the activities and I thank them for their involvement.
At the mass we acknowledged the contributions of staff who have served the College for over 20 years. Many of these people were able to be present and as you can see from the list below, many are still contributing. This continuity and dedication to Mount St Patrick College has been crucial to its rich reputation and success. Mrs Narelle Sherrah proposed this acknowledgement and honour board and it is a very worthy addition to our College.
What can St Patrick Teach us?
St Patrick is famous thanks to the emigration of Irish people to other countries such as the United States and Australia, who took their patron saint with them. St Patrick can teach us several lessons, both from his life story and his teachings:
- Perseverance: Despite facing many challenges and obstacles in his life, including being kidnapped and enslaved, St Patrick remained committed to his beliefs and persevered in spreading the Christian faith.
- Forgiveness: St Patrick forgave his captors and the people who mistreated him, and he even returned to the land of his captivity to spread the Christian message.
- Humility: St Patrick is known for his humility and simplicity, and he is said to have lived a simple and austere life, focused on spreading the message of Christ.
- Respect for other cultures: St Patrick took the time to learn the Irish language and customs while he was enslaved in Ireland, and this knowledge helped him to effectively communicate the Christian message to the Irish people.
- Faith and spirituality: St Patrick's strong faith in God and his deep spirituality are evident in his teachings and in the many miracles attributed to him.
Overall, St Patrick can teach us to be persistent in the face of adversity, to forgive others, to live a humble and simple life, to respect other cultures, and to cultivate a strong faith and spirituality.
Be the Good and God Bless,
Assistant Principal - Mission
St Patrick’s Day Celebrations 17th March
What a fantastically busy and hot day! It was great to be able to celebrate a Mass with the whole College together, and some special guests, for St Patrick’s Day. We actually fitted into the Church!
The temperature at the beach for the Cross Country was cooler than Murwillumbah with a lovely sea breeze. However, we returned to the inland heat for an afternoon of Irish games. Thankfully some of the activities included frozen Super Doopers as participation prizes!
Thanks to Miss Molloy, musicians, readers, Minister of Holy Communion and others, for their organization of the Mass and special morning tea and to Mr Whitney, and his helpers, for the Cross Country. Special mention to Mr Gene Molloy for making new honour boards for the Gilbey Foyer, one which was dedicated following mass to staff who have given 20 or more years of service to Mt St Patrick. Also thanks to the Kingscliff Little Athletics Committee, many of whom are parents of College students, for providing their facilities, women power by cooking the sausage sizzle and providing a Canteen of sugary treats that students crave!
Attention Parents of Year 7 am 29th March
Year 7HPV/Boostrix Injections will be given next Wednesday morning 29th March, by trained nurses, in the Gilbey Hall. This will only occur for those parents who have given online or hard copy consent for their student. It is still not too late to give consent if you wish your Year 7 to take advantage of this free immunization program. Following is a link to a Consent Form which can be emailed or handed back to the College before Wednesday 29th March.
Alternatively, you can visit health.nsw.gov.au/schoolvaccination and complete the Online Consent Form.
Romero and Nagle Combined House Mass and BBQ Breakfast Sunday 26th March
All students and families, particularly members of ‘Purple Power’ and ‘Gold Rush’ Houses are invited to this Sunday’s usual 9am Parish Mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Murwillumbah. It will be followed by a free breakfast BBQ and cuppa served in the College Canteen Basement. Wear your House colours and come along and meet other like-minded people including House Leaders Blake Reynolds and Jody Van Den Driest. This is the first of four House Masses which will take place over 2023.
Assistant Principal: Mission
Saint Patrick's Day Mass
A big thank you to all the students, staff and special guests who attended our very special Saint Patrick’s Day celebration on Friday 17th March. Thank you to all our readers, altar servers, musicians and singers and our Ministers of Holy Communion for making the mass such a great occasion. Congratulations and thank you to all the staff who have contributed 20 years or more of service to the college.
Transitus is next Thursday 30th to Friday 31st March. Thank you to those Year 7 students who are attending. Please keep an eye out for final information early next week. Students have been sent home with a packing list and some additional information. Students will come to school at the normal time. Leaving time via bus is still TBC.
Yr 10 Borhoffen Experience 2023
A big thank you to the students and staff who attended the Year 10 retreat Monday-Wednesday this week. The students had a great time team building, experiencing God and their spirituality and building relationships and friendships as a cohort. A very big thank you to Mrs Angela Finkel, Mrs Cathy Cripps, Mr Corey Nix, Mrs Anne Edwards, Ms Emma McHugh, Mr Bradley Connor, Mr Rick Van Den Driest, Mrs Jody Van Den Driest, Mr Brett McCulloch, Mr Dan Anderson, Miss Mary-Anne McShane, Mr Hamish Bunney and our Youth Ministry Officer Eliza Blunn.
Last week the Year 10 cohort went on retreat to Bornhoffen Leadership Development Centre. The camp is surrounded by beautiful mountains and breathtaking views. All students were placed in small groups with a teacher and started with icebreaker activities. This started our journey in helping us develop relationships with each other. Throughout the camp we experienced lots of fun activities, free time, and meditation was the best ever. All of these experiences allowed us to grow closer as a year group. We were given lots of opportunities to reflect, learn about ourselves and others. To end the retreat we were able to make a closer connection to God through liturgy we planned together as a year. Overall, this retreat was an amazing experience that allowed us to grow as people.
We thank the staff for being so open and giving up their time, as we will cherish the memories we all made together.
Thank you, Yr 10 2023 -“The Sheep.”
Leader of Evangelisation
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
The school is focused on assessment currently with Year 12 students completing assessments in The Gilbey Centre and Year 11 preparing for their first assessments next week. The College has a long history of success academically and our approach to assessments is an important component of the program. From Year 7 through to Year 12 we gradually increase the rigour required for assessments with Year 7 currently completing formative assessments focussing on the students having a go without fear of failure and then receiving feedback with an opportunity to improve. It's important that students are not afraid to make a mistake and learn from their errors.
Year 12 are completing assessments under formal conditions as it is important for the students to develop their time management skills and strategies to reduce stress. By the time the HSC examinations are here the students have developed the required skills to give themselves the best opportunity to achieve. During Year 12 and 11 assessments the students only come to school for the assessments and spend the rest of the time preparing and relaxing. This has proven to be a successful formula for success.
This week the College has hosted taster days for our feeder schools and non-feeder schools. An opportunity is provided for year 6 students to spend a day at Mt St Patrick College and experience what it is like to be a high school student. Thank you to primary teachers who have accompanied the students, the days have been enjoyable for everyone involved and we are excited for the students to continue or start their Catholic Education.
Thank you to the Year 11 students who have given their time to conduct tours of the College. Next week we will have an information night for prospective Year 7 parents for 2024 in The Gilbey Centre at 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and hear what Mt St Patrick College can offer.
Assistant Principal: Learning and Teaching
As the school year progresses, we would like to remind everyone about the importance of a peaceful and safe school environment. During this time, we're particularly concerned about the impact that violence and fights can have in our school. It is not just the student involved physically in any fight that will have consequences but students found to be provoking and inciting fights will have serious consequences as well. This is because fights generally don’t occur unless there is an audience and peer pressure from others.
To prevent these situations from happening, we invite parents to collaborate with the school staff and contribute in creating an atmosphere of respect and education. Here are some helpful tips to help avoid violence and prevent incitement:
- Empower your children to solve conflicts in constructive and peaceful ways. Teach them empathy, forgiveness, and communication skills.
- Encourage your children to report and inform their teachers about any kind of bullying or violent behaviour they may perceive or experience.
- Talk to your children about the consequences of violence, both legally and socially.
- Monitor your children's online activity and teach them about responsible and respectful behaviour online.
By having a united front, we can continue to ensure the safety and well-being of our students in a positive and encouraging environment.
Thank you for your support
Leader of Welfare
Week 8 has been a busy week at the College. Years 8, 9 and 10 have completed an array of formative and summative assessment tasks and have begun working on new topics in various subject areas. Feedback from formative and summative assessment provides students with an important opportunity to reflect on what they have done well and areas they could improve on to progress their knowledge, skills and understanding. A lot is gained from these valuable experiences.
The Year 12 Assessment Block is well underway and will conclude tomorrow Friday 24th March. Teachers have been impressed by the calm approach and focussed preparation of Year 12 in the completion of their assessments. This is a quality that will serve them well in their HSC.
The Year 11 Assessment Block is scheduled to begin on Monday 27th March and will conclude on Friday 31st March - Week 9. Year 11 classes will not run during the assessment week. Year 11 students need only attend school to complete their assessments during this assessment block. They are required to sign in and out of the College at the front office daily. An email was sent to parents and carers this week regarding this procedure.
The following is an assessment overview for Weeks 9 and 10. Students should check their assessment calendar on the Assessment Portal to ensure that changes have not been made since publishing this guide.
Leader of Curriculum
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner and runners up of our inaugural English Department Writing Competition in honour of International Women’s Day. We would like to thank everyone who entered the competition. We read an outstanding variety of narratives, poems and essays on inspirational women. There were whole classes who participated in this competition and we are so thrilled that so many students got involved. Unfortunately, not everyone can win, so we have chosen one main prize winner and two prizes for runners up.
Our winner is: Maya Rogers of Year 11
Our runners up are: Rosie Stewart-Walker and Sophie Buckley both of Year 8
These students took home a book prize pack each.
We are going to publish the winning entry and runner up entries over the next three newsletters.
Please enjoy reading the winning entry by Maya Rogers (Year 11) below:
My mother wears a signature perfume that reminds me of her always.
She gave me a bottle of it last year sometime, an heirloom based around smell, perhaps a smell that my kids would learn to associate with me in the future.
I stopped wearing it to school though. I didn’t want to associate my mother with body odour, crude humour and a general lack of awareness.
I keep the bottle at home and I look at it from time to time.
My mother is the island of the household. I am the sand. My father is the sea.
My father has a constant turmoil, a storm inside of him. He’s churning always, feeling the highs and lows of every tide, pulled by the mystical moon. Sometimes he is gentle - in the deep, the sea lulls.
My mother keeps him still and grounded, holds him present and accountable with honest words and tired sayings.
I am the sand. Like my father, I too have a turmoil, a storm.
But I am learning to recognise that I am the eye of that storm.
I can be calm and grounded because of my mother and her land.
Sometimes the tide rises and I am swallowed whole.
Tossed, tumbled, thrown apart. The daily growing pains.
I am creating my own island. Slowly. Planting trees to hold the soil, putting heavy rocks along the shore.
Her perfume washes over me in the early hours of a Wednesday morning when she leaves for work.
A gentle reminder to hold my ground, be steady, constant, reliable.
A ritualistic farewell; a commander sending her little warrior into the depths of the world.
My mother is my island, my father is the sea. And I am the sand that lies in between.
Leader or Learning: English
Term 1 2023 has been a busy term for the HSIE Faculty. Entries for the Australian Geography competition have been overwhelmingly positive this year, after several years of not running this competition. Entries have now closed, and the competition will take place in Term 2. The History Competition is still taking entries, but will close shortly. Entry is $7 per student, with payment and parental consent via Compass.
Year 8 History is wrapping up their introductory study into the Ancient Past. They have been learning about the first ancient civilisations, what historical sources are, time and timelines, along with archaeological methods used to unearth the past. Students have not been required to complete a hand-in assessment task for this unit of work, rather they are being assessed formatively. This means that the activities that students are completing in class are used to provide an overall grade for student achievements. Students will commence their study of Ancient Egypt over the next week, where they will unravel the mysteries of mummification, and delve into the Egyptian underworld.
Australians at War is the current topic of study for Yr 10 History. Currently they are focussing on World War I, the campaigns that Australia was involved in, reasons for enlistment and the homefront, along with Gallipoli and the ANZAC legend. For those students who would like to undertake a little extra reading and delve into what it was like to be a soldier on the Western Front, the Learning Hub has put together a wide range of historical fiction on WWI. We strongly encourage students to seek out a novel, especially one that can engage their imagination and empathetic understanding of this topic.
The HSIE faculty would like to wish their current Yr 12 students all the best with their assessments this week, and extend those wishes to Yr 11 for their Assessment Block in Week 9.
Spotlight on Modern History
The HSIE department would like to shine a light on Modern History, and encourage students to consider taking Stage 6 Modern History for their HSC studies. The benefits of this humanities course are numerous, and it can have a positive impact on a student's academic and personal growth.
Firstly, studying Modern History will help students develop critical thinking skills, as they examine and analyse historical events and documents. For example, students will explore the origins and causes of World War I, including the Treaty of Versailles and the failure of the League of Nations. With Modern History, students will learn to think deeply and evaluate different perspectives.
Modern History will improve students' research and writing skills, as they prepare research papers and essays based on primary and secondary sources. Students will learn to write clear and concise arguments while using proper citation methods.
Finally, studying Modern History can also help students develop empathy and compassion. By studying the experiences of people from different cultures and backgrounds, students can gain a better understanding of the challenges and struggles faced by others. For example, students will explore the struggle for civil rights in the United States and the role of individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. We want our students to become compassionate and empathetic humans.
Stage 6 Modern History is a valuable course for any student to take. It provides opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, gain a deeper understanding of the world, improve research and writing skills, and develop empathy and compassion.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please don't hesitate to discuss your interest with Mr Grant or Ms Blazek.
Where are they now?
Chloe Hillcoat attended MSPC, completing her HSC in 2021. Currently Chloe is in Japan as part of her university studies, participating in the International Model United Nations Program. We thought we’d ask Chloe a few questions about her time at MSPC and her advice for current MSPC students.
- What HSIE subjects did you complete at MSPC? I studied Ancient History, Advanced English and English Extension 1 for my HSC.
- What are you doing now? I am currently in my fourth semester of a Bachelor’s degree studying Law/Art, majoring in journalism and criminology
- How has your subject choice helped you in your current course? My HSIE subjects genuinely prepared me for university, in particular Ancient History. I did not take legal Studies at school and found that when entering Law School it was Ancient History that assisted me the most. It gave me the ability to write and argue in a clear and concise manner. While English gave me a lot of skills and continues to assist in my journalism subjects and everyday life, it did not provide the style of writing used throughout many university subjects.
- What advice would you give MSPC students looking to follow in your footsteps? To any student considering taking Ancient History or any other HSIE subjects, I would highly recommend it. Ancient History was not only very enjoyable, but it was one of the only subjects that taught me skills that I still draw upon today. Not taking subjects such as Maths or Science was personally the right choice for me. I have never regretted the decision as it reduced a lot of HSC stress and allowed me to pursue subjects that I enjoyed.
- Is there anything else you’d like to add? When I was in Year 12 there was a slight stigma that the smartest subjects to take revolved around Maths and Science. While these topics absolutely have merit, HSIE subjects are just as applicable and relevant in the real world. Ultimately you need to choose subjects that will help you reach your goals, but also ones you can enjoy.
Leader of Learning: HSIE
FROM THE SPORTS DESK
Diocesan Swimming Amendment
In an oversight whilst sifting through the tremendous Carnival results from the Lismore Diocesan Swimming Carnival in Kempsey, I missed the fact that Tim Wellm was also successful in winning the Diocesan Age Championship for U13 boys.
Tim won every 13 year race he entered. In 13/14 year races Tim placed 1st in 100 fly second in 200IM and 3rd in 200 free. A huge program!
To recap, our Diocesan Age Champions were:
Tim Wellm U13 Boys
Myla Naylor U13 Girls
Jack French U16 Boys
Rio Giridharan also won the U12 Boys runner up Age Champion
All swimmers had a hand in achieving MSPC’s best result ever. Keep up the good work and good luck in Sydney.
You can view the results at:
On Friday 10th March 12 students enthusiastically represented the College in the Diocesan Tennis competition held at Arkinstall Park, Tweed Heads. Our Dio Tennis team included Charlotte Waddell and Tara O’Donnell (Junior Girls), Meisha Dwyer, Chloe Martin, Alexis Pelikan, Ciara Dwyer (Open Girls), Bernie Fraser, Abe Kirk (Junior Boys) and Norm Fraser, Ben Wilson, Arlo Kirk and Sean Farrelly (Open boys). All the teams were very successful.
The Open Boys won 5 of their 7 games and were placed 3rd overall. Both the junior boys and girls teams played with great promise placing 4th.
A BIG congratulation to the Open Girl’s teams who were undefeated on the day and are the 2023 Girls Diocesan Tennis Champions. This is the 3rd year in a row they have held that title. The girls will be heading off to Bathurst later in the year for the NSWCCC competition.
All the students played in difficult conditions but managed to overcome the heat to play their best tennis. They showed good sportsmanship and commitment on the day and were great ambassadors for the College. We were very proud of them.
Clara Cahill (coach)
College Cross Country
A wonderful College celebration took place in honour of our Patron Saint - St Patrick on Friday 17th. In what is becoming the norm for College Carnivals in 2023 there was a significant heat event unfolding in the later half of the week to coincide with our plans. After a beautiful celebration starting with mass, all students had their recess, grabbed their hats and water bottles and boarded the bus to Kingscliff.
Leaving the furnace that was Murwillumbah, students were greeted with a gentle cooling northerly breeze as they prepared to run the Cross Country. All students are to be commended for their efforts, most as they crossed the finish line seemed to have enjoyed their time on the beach and if they didn't, at least they could appreciate their surroundings and the fact they were sharing an experience with their friends and College community.
The top 6 place getters in all divisions have now qualified for the Diocesan event which will be held in Grafton on Friday 19th May. Plenty of time to train for this event!
Congratulations to Ignatius House on taking out their first Championship as a “new house” group. I don’t think I have seen a bigger smile on the faces of the Sport/Community Leaders Seth Moore and Mahli Johnson as they came forward to raise the 1784 Shield for Ignatius.
The following is the event summary
NSW CCC Golf Success
Sam Daley from Yr 10 recently attended the NSWCCC Golf Tournament at the Waratah Golf Club, Newcastle. The event was abandoned halfway through the day due to heavy rainfall making the course unplayable.
A paper selection has had to take place – each student had their Handicap and previous 20 rounds reviewed via Golf Link and the team has been selected.
Sam now goes on to represent NSWCCC at the All Schools Golf Championships again to be held at the Waratah Golf Club in Newcastle in Week 9 of Term 2. If he performs well at this event he may be selected in the NSW All Schools team which will compete at the Golf Australia School sport event held on the Gold Coast. Great effort Sam!
After the best part of a year off with injury, Chloe Martin has had some early season success on the track. Chloe qualified for the National titles for 400m hurdles after attending the Queensland state championships in early March running a Personal Best to finish second at that event and no doubt has a lot of improvement left as she regains full strength and confidence after injury. We wish her all the best.
Mandatory Training for Contact Sports
It is an expectation that students who wish to trial for contact sports and represent the College attend a minimum 3 mandatory full contact training sessions. Last week, our Australian Rules teams started their morning training sessions in preparation for the Q Schools Cup early in Term 2.
Rugby League teams have also started lunchtime sessions. It is mandatory that team members attend in order to qualify for team selection.
Rugby Union NSWCCC Trials
An advanced warning for all our Rugby Union enthusiasts, there are NSWCCC trials for the following teams in Week 1 next Term:
Girls 7’s - Open to girls in years 10 -12
Boys 16 & Under - Open to boys in years 8 - 11
Boys 18 & Under - Open to boys in years 11 - 12
All information can be found on this link if you are interested in registering your son or daughter to be considered for this event.
Aussie Rules NSWCCC Trials
Interested, talented Aussie rules players who are 15 and Under (1/1/08 - 31/12/2010) are eligible to trial for the NSWCCC teams. Please find all information on the NSWCCC site by clicking the link below:
Be aware that trails for girls are in Wagga Wagga and Boys Pre trials are in Bateau Bay (23rd March) or Wagga Wagga on 1st and 2nd May.
Years 9 - 11 Begin Using The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (Nrrt)
As part of their Integrated Sport program, students in these year groups will be accessing the NRRT during a double lesson for sport. Students will need only to bring a water bottle that fits in a bike water bottle cage. MSPC has purchased bikes and helmets for a class to use. Perhaps between now and the start of next term you and your families have experienced the NRRT, a wonderful new resource not only for our kids to access but for the community as well.
All students in Years 9 - 11 have been asked to complete a short google quiz on the rail trail etiquette after watching a short youtube clip prepared from Council. It would be appreciated if parents could remind them to complete this for homework. It will take them maximum 5 min. Students can access it from their Sport google classroom
Tuesday 21st March - Northern Country Selection trials - South West Rocks
Thursday 23rd March - Diocesan Open Basketball - Port macquarie
Friday 24th March - NSWCCC Swimming and Diving - Homebush
Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th April - NSWCCC Touch Football Championships - Wagga Wagga
Tuesday 4th April - Dio North open football - Lismore
Wednesday 5th April - Bill Turner Cup and Trophy games at MFC Complex.
Term 2 Overview
Wed / Thurs 26th & 27th - NSWCCC Union trials - Sydney
Friday 28th - NRCC Rugby league and Volleyball - Casino
Mon /Tues 1st & 2nd May - Aussie rules U15 trials - Wagga Wagga
Wednesday 3rd May - Q Schools Cup Juniors - Byron Bay
Friday 5th May - Q Schools Cup Seniors - Byron Bay
Tuesday 9th May - NRCC Hockey - Lismore
Tuesday 9th May - Katrina Fanning Cup Girls contact Rugby league
Monday 15th May - NSWCCC Hockey selection trials - Bathurst
Tues /Wed 16th & 17th May NSWCCC Hockey Teams Championships - Bathurst
Friday 19th may - Diocesan Cross country - Grafton
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY
On Thursday 9th March Year 7 and 12 Assisi House students participated in a Clean up Australia Day initiative at MSPC. This was a great opportunity to strengthen bonds within Assisi House and for students to get to know one another. The event raised awareness for students in the College about the importance of conserving and reducing waste within the College.
As one of the country’s most recognised and trusted environmental organisations, Clean Up Australia has helped Australians take practical environmental action for over 30 years. In fact Clean Up Australia Day is now the nation's largest community-based environmental event.
The Assisi students participated enthusiastically in this event as they went around the school emptying recycling bins and clearing general rubbish. In 2023 it is even more important that we “Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Compost” in the battle to preserve our land environments and waterways.
Leader of Wellbeing: Assisi