MSPC Newsletter - Term 3 Week 2, 27th July 2023
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
You would have received a letter this week from Adam Spencer, the Director Catholic Schools Lismore, announcing my resignation. I had already planned to take Term 4 this year as long service leave and therefore I will finish at the end of this term. This fourth year of my principalship of Mount St Patrick College has been the most normal in terms of getting back to a full range of activities which has been a real joy after the disruptions of the previous three years. The students have embraced the opportunities such as the musical, sporting representation and excursions with vigour. There is ongoing commitment from the Catholic Schools Office to improvements at the College and some of those will be in place by the end of the year.
I have tried to make any decisions for the good of the College, but this decision has been one for my wife Vanessa and I, as we leave the warm North Coast for the cooler climate of Tasmania. We are nervous about such a big move from what we know and are familiar with, but we are equally excited by this too. As Townes Van Zandt wrote “To live is to fly”. I have encouraged students to take opportunities that come and I am taking my own advice. We will be sad to be leaving the area and I will certainly miss Mount St Patrick College and its wonderful community. I am very grateful for the support I have been shown by the staff, students, parents and parish.
The recruitment process for my replacement has already begun and it is hoped that the new principal will be announced at the end of this term or early term 4.
Acting Principal Term 4
Mrs Narelle Sherrah will be Acting Principal for Term 4 and Mrs Narelle Chaffer will be Acting Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching for this period. I thank them for taking on these responsibilities and ask that you give them your support.
Be the Good and God Bless,
Assistant Principal - Mission
To Year 12 and accelerating Year 11 students for their Trial HSC Exams which begin next Monday 31/7 and continue for 2 weeks. We will keep you in our prayers for good preparation and focus during the exams.
To Year 9 students who are beginning their Snow or Burleigh adventures next week. We hope that each of you, and the generous teachers accompanying you, have a fabulous time and come back to us safe, well and happy!
MSPC P & F Meeting
Next Tuesday 1st August from 5.30pm in the College Learning Hub (Library). We will be discussing the results of the recent Parent Survey regarding the model of parent engagement with the College that suits our community.
Peter Kearney Concert
This concert will be held in the Sacred Heart Church this Sunday 30th July from 3 – 5pm. Admission is free, but you can give a donation.
Peter is a songwriter, singer and recording artist who was first published in 1966. He is known internationally for his contribution to religious and church music which is still widely used today. All are welcome to attend.
Sunday’s program is called ‘Signs of Hope - People of Faith’. It is a sequence of songs, stories and reflections about people who have brought hope, justice and compassion into our world. https://peterkearneysongs.com.au/home
Ignatius House Feast Day Celebration
Ignatius House will be telling their story at the College Assembly on Thursday 3rd August which will be held in the Church.
Year 11 Leadership Camp - Thursday 11th and Friday 12th August
More details to follow.
Assistant Principal: Mission
Welcome back to Term 3. We have a lot of exciting ministry events happening this term.
The Festa Christi boys and girls retreats are on next week at Bonville near Coffs Harbour.
Tuesday 1st – Wednesday 2nd August, 2023. Mr Windhorst is accompanying the students.
Thursday 3rd – Friday 4th August, 2023. Miss McShane is accompanying the students.
Students should have received a hard copy note with the final information and packing. Buses for each retreat are leaving at 7:00am sharp from Mount St Patrick College on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, respectively. Students are to meet outside the Church/front office.
SHINE - Week 6
The Youth Ministry students from Years 9 and 10, as well as some of our senior leaders, will be attending SHINE in Week 6 on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th August. Bus information and packing lists will be sent to students closer to the date.
Years 7, 8 and 9 Retreat Days
Thank you to all our Year 7, 8 and 9 students who attended the retreat days at the College last week. The students had wonderful experiences on their respective days and got involved in all the activities and games. A big thank you to our Mission Assistants Halle and Eliza, and all the staff who attended each day.
“The day was great and I really liked it. I appreciate the teachers and speakers taking time out of their day to do these things for us.”
“I am really looking forward to the next retreat days”.
“Thank you for a great day, it was very fun and I really appreciated the effort you put in”.
“I liked when we wrote down a little prayer”.
Looking forward to a wonderful term.
Leader of Evangelisation
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
Mt St Patrick College is a good school because we have a focus on learning and wellbeing. We have started the term with a focus on creating the best learning environments for students. We have made some changes to Learning Groups in Year 7 to give students an opportunity to have a fresh start for their learning and create new connections. I often receive requests from parents to move their child to a different class. Mrs Shields and I look at each request and evaluate the impact on the whole group. We can’t grant every request as this would be very disruptive to the dynamics of classes.
Year 10 Interviews
Last Thursday 20th July I had the pleasure of being part time of the Year 10 into 11 interview day. Each student was given the opportunity to discuss their subject selections for year 11. I was impressed with the effort students had made to decide on their selections with three main considerations:
- What subjects do I need
- What subjects do I enjoy
- What subjects am I good at.
- The students have now chosen their subjects and the lines for 2024 will be constructed. These are the best lines for our students. The lines will be given to the Year 10 cohort and they will then choose from the lines. I hope that students are happy with the selections.
Year 8 students have made their preliminary choices for 200hr electives. The students will be notified shortly as to which subjects will run and students can make their final choice. They will then choose a 100hr subject for Year 9 only.
The Solomon islands immersion program
I had the privilege of leading 14 students on the Solomon Island Immersion program at the end of Term 2. This program has been in action since 2010. The connections that have been created over this time are continuing with the 2023 group. I am so proud of how this group immersed themselves in the culture and involved themselves in community service. New friendships have been forged between Mt St Patrick College and Bishop Epalle and Tanagaii Village. We would like to thank these two communities for their hospitality and generosity. Mt St Patrick College looks forward to a return visit from Bishop Epallle in October this year.
Arrive in Honiara
Mass at Bishop Epalle Parish
Swimming at Hamock Beach
Community Service at Visale- The Old Nuns Nursing home. The students painted the nursing home and installed solar lights as there is no electricity. Chatting to the nuns brightened up their day. Mrs Reidy helped out in the local clinic and was on hand to deliver a baby, named after Mr Reidy.
Our students attended classes at Bishop Epalle to witness school in the Solomons
The next 3 days were spent in the Village. The students were immersed in the village life: dancing, playing, laughing and learning the traditional ways.
Back to Bishop Epalle for their amazing assembly where they demonstrated their intense school spirit.
The students were accompanied by many Bishop Epalle and village friends on a hike which was absolutely beautiful.
Our last day in Honiara was spent at Mass in Tanagaii and a farewell dinner at the Hotel.
Can’t wait to host Bishop Epalle in October so we can return the hospitality.
Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
Leader of Welfare
On Friday 21st July, our Year 9 students embarked on a cultural journey as they visited HOTA (Home of the Arts) on the Gold Coast. The trip proved to be an unforgettable experience for our 140 students who were treated to a captivating Sport for Jove production of William Shakespeare's timeless classic, "Romeo and Juliet."
For many of our students this excursion marked a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in a cultural event, as our regional location often restricts us from accessing such experiences. Nonetheless, the excitement and anticipation were palpable as they eagerly stepped into the enchanting world of live performance theatre.
The talented actors brought the iconic tale to life with their impeccable performances, transporting our students into the romantic and tragic world of Verona. Witnessing the play in its intended form - a theatrical performance - provided a unique understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's masterpiece. The experience enriched their understanding of the play and added a new dimension to their interpretation; something we hope will be beneficial to the students as they embark on their English study this term.
I would like to thank the dedicated team of teachers: Dana Shoobridge, Jess Vanderlight, Stewart Grant, Michael Lill, Caitlyn Barone, Michael Forrester, and TAs Bradley Connor and Matt Aitchison for accompanying the students on the day.
I would also like to thank the parents of Year 9 for supporting such a worthwhile cultural opportunity.
Welcome back to Term 3. It is the start of a new semester and students are encouraged to check-in with the learning goals that they may have set themselves at the beginning of the year. If things are on track, continue to put in the effort, both in class and at home, in order to reap the rewards. If your Semester 1 report was not as ‘glowing’ as you may have hoped for, set yourself a challenge of moving your grade up one level.
Key to success
When I reflect on people that I have encountered who are successful, they seem to share certain qualities. They all acknowledge the importance of:
Preparation, Effort and Persistence
I encourage students to reflect on these three words and how they can be applied to their learning in Mathematics. I am alarmed when students do not have the required equipment for the day, especially calculators! Please make sure we are arriving to class ready to learn and give our best, in terms of effort, each lesson.
We understand that mathematics can often present challenging problems. We often need some extra time to consider the new concepts or skills that are presented to us. The dedicated members of the Mathematics Faculty make themselves available each Thursday during lunch in F31 to give assistance, clarifications and guidance to students. All are welcome! (Merits and sweet treats are often given, Ed.)
Australian Mathematics Competition
The Australian Mathematics competition will be held next week on Thursday 3rd August. This year the College is funding the experience and some very keen students have registered their interest with me. They will spend the morning putting their problem-solving, mental arithmetic and higher-order thinking skills to the test. Unfortunately, the timing of this competition coincides with the Year 9 camps and Year 12 Trial HSC Examinations. As a result, only students from Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 are able to participate.
If there are any students who wish to have a go and have not let me know yet, there may still be time. You need to see me in my office ASAP.
I have included a few problems below for those interested in ‘sharpening their skills’. Good Luck!
Easy: In the grid, the total of each row and column is given in green. What is the value of N?
Medium: Four teams play in a soccer tournament. Each team plays one game against each of the other three teams.
Teams earn 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.
After all the games have been played, one team has 6 points, two teams have 4 points and one team has 3 points. How many games ended in a draw?
Hard: The digits 1 to 9 are used exactly once each to make three 3-digit numbers.
The second number is three times the first number.
The third number is 5 times the first number.
What is the second number?
Mr Dan Anderson - Leader of Learning: Mathematics
A NOTE FROM THE SCIENCE DESK
This year, with the theme of innovation, we have some exciting activities for students. Programming is important for economic growth and innovation. In fact, the software and IT industries are among the most productive and rapidly growing sectors of the economy. That's because programming skills enable individuals and firms to innovate new products. With this in mind, students can participate in a fun activity in the library creating a binary bracelet. This activity will run in Week 6 and is only open to Year 7+8 students.
We also have three guest speakers. Our first guest speaker on the 16th August is Dr Ed Egan BA, MB BCh, FACEM, who is the MDH Clinical Lead, Emergency Consultant at the Tweed & Murwillumbah District Hospitals. He will be speaking to Year 9 students about clinical innovation in medicine, specifically, assessing and treating acute stroke using a simple web/evidence based assessment tool. Tweed hospitals are one of the early centres using this innovative technology outside of Sydney.
This will be interesting for a range of science students, not just those with aspirations to work in healthcare, as it is based around a simple web tool and current ICT to help clinicians achieve better health outcomes in time critical situations. Interested students can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to attend.
Our second guest speaker is Kerrie Martin | Network Manager – Clinical Genetics and Ophthalmology at the Agency for clinical innovation. Kerrie will be speaking to Year 11 and 12 Biology students about Science in labs: and how it is helping us know how to better diagnose, treat and prevent disease or conditions; artificial intelligence being incorporated into practice, technology that is rapidly changing; and innovation in the use of telehealth for consultations. Kerrie will be speaking to senior students in Week 6. Interested students can email me if they would like to attend.
Our third guest speaker is Dr Majella Mumford who will be talking to Year 11 and 12 Earth and Environmental Science students on the 22nd August at 10am about climate change. Interested students can email me if they would like to attend.
Assistant leader of Science
Last Tuesday 18th July Year 12 and Year 11 Accelerated Chemistry, students spent the day at Sydney University. After an early start to the morning, students spent the morning exploring the university before beginning a series of chemistry workshops.
Students had the opportunity to see and use a variety of equipment not available in school through workshops aligned to the HSC Chemistry curriculum. This is a unique opportunity to experience the practical investigations for module 8 - ‘Applying Chemical Ideas’. Students used a range of spectroscopic analysis techniques, and conducted titrations, gravimetric analyses and more.
This excursion is an excellent opportunity for students to understand these techniques and see one of the most prestigious universities in Australia. Thank you to Mrs Sherrah and Mrs Shields who also accompanied us on the trip.
Texthelp has some excellent resources and strategies for our students with Dyslexia. Our teachers have been working through some professional development regarding support and adjustments for students with Dyslexia. We have trialed Read and Write for Chrome during our assessment period with some successes. If you would like to support your child with their homework, assistive technology and texthelp could help!
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about this resource.
Shellae Boss: Leader of Inclusion and Diversity
It has been another busy time in the Music Department kicking off the start of Term 3.
Both the teaching team and all music students were so excited (and relieved) to see the practice room renovation finally complete! Students have been highly motivated to get into the rooms and make use of the refurbished spaces to prepare for their various upcoming performance activities. The rooms will be used for both solo and ensemble rehearsals, as well as an excellent teaching space for our range of peripatetic teachers. (These instrumental teachers offer lessons in violin, guitar, drum kit, saxophone, flute, trumpet, clarinet: contact the school for more info!)
This week some Year 7 classes went on a walking excursion to view and experience the pipe organ located in All Saints Anglican Church, Murwillumbah. This is part of their current unit of work on Keyboard Instruments and Keyboard Music. Students were intrigued and astounded to see the size of the instrument, as well as the monumental sounds it can produce. We are very grateful to Mr Ross Johnson: the chief organist and caretaker of the 1000 pipe, 100 year old pipe organ. Ross freely gave of his own time to show students how the instrument works and share rich history and information about the pipe organ.
Our Year 10 Music class is preparing for an upcoming Performance Evening to showcase their work- Week 6, Wednesday August 23rd at 6pm. Family and friends are warmly invited to attend and support these wonderful students.
Students wishing to sing with the choir for the Year 12 Graduation Mass are invited to attend rehearsals every Monday lunchtime in M23. Students are always welcome to join. The first 15 minutes students enjoy eating their lunch together before the singing starts.
Students wishing to join the band for the Year 12 Graduation Mass should email Ms Rennes-Nadal for more information and to secure their place. Rehearsals are each Thursday lunchtime.
FROM THE SPORTS DESK
COLLEGE ATHLETICS CARNIVAL
We were once again greeted with a magnificent day for our annual Athletics Carnival at Kingscliff. As the majority of the College travelled over from Murwillumbah the final touches were being made to the carnival setup. Ty Lockwood led our community with a welcome to Country and Luke Leach led us in prayer and the events began.
Great numbers of competitors in each event made for some fantastic competition. The new Houses certainly saw much team spirit on display.
A new addition to the carnival was the King and Queen of the track event. This saw all the winners of each age groups 100m event invited to run against each other in a Stawell Gift type handicap race which created much excitement. A plan has already been hatched for next year to have the House tents under the trees on the Eastern side of the track and this would create a fantastic amphitheatre on the finishing straight for athletes to run.
The Age Champions and Champion House results are all below. Congratulations to team Ignatius who have now taken out two of the three major trophies this year.
DIOCESAN ATHLETICS CARNIVAL
Over 100 students have qualified for the next level of Athletics, the Diocesan Carnival in Coffs Harbour on Wednesday 23rd August. All athletes received an email with their events in the holidays. I would ask that they make a decision about their attendance and indicate this on the compass notification which is due 2 weeks prior to the event. A team so large may need an extra bus to be booked.
NSW ALL SCHOOLS CROSS COUNTRY
Willow Seamer ran for NSWCCC in the NSW ALL SCHOOLS event held in Sydney on Friday 21st July.
Willow also received a Gold medal as part of the NSWCCC team who as a collective team of 8 runners beat all other 11 teams. A great result! Congratulations Willow.
NSW CCC HOCKEY
Kiana McCabe competed for the NSWCCC Hockey team in Sydney last Tuesday 18th July in the annual Tri series challenge against Combined High Schools and Combined Independent Schools. Kiana played well and is to be congratulated on her high level of representation in hockey.
Week 4 Junior Basketball - Port Macquarie
Week 5 Diocesan North Touch Football Competition - Ballina
Week 6 Diocesan Athletics - Coffs Harbour
Year 9 & 10 Child Studies
Last term, students in Child Studies completed an assessment task based around creating a children’s birthday party including: invitation, menu and justification for the menu.
Both classes were very creative this year and having 5 boys in the Year 10 class really added to the fun party dynamic!
We concluded the term with students then cooking one of the party food items they created for their assessment and sharing this item for our own class party. As you can see by the photos, students went all out with their cooking and creations.
After some yummy food was consumed, we then played a bunch of children's games including Duck, Duck, Goose, Celebrity Head, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Musical Chairs, “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?” as well as fun balloon games.
Thank you to all of the students who put in so much effort creating a delicious and fun party.
Nepal immersion 2023. It's back!
December 4- 21, 2023.
Open to current Year 12 students and post Year 12 ex-students.
Volunteering in a Children's Home and a village school.
Plus a low altitude, 6 day trek and sightseeing in Kathmandu!
Contact Mr. Jim Smith email@example.com if interested.
Dusted Off, a performance by Brett Hunt.
On Wednesday 19th July Year 10,11 and 12 students had the opportunity to experience ‘Dusted Off’, a one-person play, composed and performed by Brett Hunt. This excursion marks the beginning of the College’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Centred on his father’s experience in Vietnam, “Dusted off” explored the impact of the war on veterans and their families.
Year 10 student Isabelle offers a reflection of the performance:
The session opened with Brett asking us if anyone had a veteran in their family. When responding to our answers, he showed an immense amount of respect and gratitude for those who gave their lives for their country, family and friends, and for those who continue to fight for peace and freedom. Brett’s story was heartfelt and emotional, as he shared that he is a son, a grandson and a great grandson of Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) veterans. Through the utilisation of song and monologue we heard the tale of one young veteran’s motivations for joining the war effort, life as a soldier in Vietnam, the horrible injuries endured and the efforts to keep his family together on return.
The iconic wartime song by Redgum, ‘I was only 19’ holds significance to the show’s plot, as Brett’s father, Frank, was profiled in the line, “Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon”. Brett explored this juxtaposition for the audience. The sixth battalion took a breather from their surveillance to listen to the moon landing when they hit a mine field. The mine exploded, showering 18 soldiers with shrapnel. However, it was his visualisation of the extraction of the Sixth battalion from this field that brought the audience to tears, as Brett expressed his gratitude to the Corporal in charge, who bravely secured the Battalion’s safety before stepping onto a M14 landmine.
The performance also explored many of the issues facing veterans once they return from wartime conflicts. In particular, Brett spoke of his father’s battle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Students learned how those who returned home from Vietnam didn’t know how to deal with it, didn’t talk about it and didn’t have the resources needed to manage their pain.
Overall, the show was emotional and inspiring. Brett’s ability to show vulnerability in key scenes, such as his Dad’s injury with the Sixth Battalion, demonstrated how much respect and admiration he has for those men. This story is one the no-one in the audience will forget anytime soon and we must remember it is only one of the stories from the 60,000 Australians served in the Vietnam War. We are all so thankful that we got to hear Brett tell a story that was so close to his family's heart.
We would like to express our thanks to Brett Hunt, who is an outstanding performer and storyteller. Our thanks also extend to Year 12 student, Mahalia Ashforth, who was instrumental in securing this opportunity for our College. Finally, we would like to thank ‘The Regent Cinema’, specifically Sonia Caeiro Alvarez, for hosting us and providing the perfect atmosphere to experience such a performance.
We invite all MSPC families who have any connection to the Vietnam War to complete this google form. We aim to honour serving personnel by including them in MSPC’s Wall of Honour, to be displayed in the Learning Hub from Week 4.
Amanda Starr, Amanda Evans and Chris Core