McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

03 April 2020
Term 1, Week 10 - Friday 3 April 2020

Receive - Worship - Serve

Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal -    Pastoral Care
Leader of Teaching & Learning 
Important Dates
Careers News
Library News
Website & Compass Parent Portal
College Uniform
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection

A Coronavirus Prayer:

Dear Jesus, you travelled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.”

At your command, the sick were made well.

Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Dear Jesus, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.



Our Lady of the Rosary. Pray for us.

St Dominic. Pray for us.

Blessed Edmund Rice. Pray for us.


Mrs Cate Allen -  Leader of Mission, Spiritual Formation and Religious Education


Principal's Report

The orientation for this edition of the Principal’s Report will be quite brief and utilitarian, with the understanding that there has been an overload of communication hitting your inbox over the past weeks while we collectively support government measures to reduce the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus.


I commend the excellent articles presented in this particular iNewsletter which offer useful advice and specific access to online home learning resources. Mrs Maxworthy and Mrs Barrett have both listed some excellent and proven resources that will support quality online home learning.


I particularly recommend Mr Larkin’s extended piece that offers quality examples and sound advice about the opportunity that comes from a crisis like this to build personal resilience and strong empathy for, and outreach to, others. In the spirit of ‘Being Better Everyday’, take the time to read and reflect and to adopt some or all of this wise advice. This is our time to ‘step up’ as a faith community, to be better learners, better friends and to be better and seek out new ways of caring for each other.


Educational Brief

As the college moves into the next decade, we now begin the community consultation that feeds into a Master Plan for 2020-2030. To facilitate that community consultation I am sharing a link below to a consultation document that is entitled - ‘Educational Brief’. The purpose of such a document is not about the buildings or facilities in a ‘Master Plan’. The purpose of an ‘Educational Brief’ is to reflect and decide upon what type of contemporary teaching and learning experience we are aspiring to achieve into the next decade. The document will provide much more detail.


I recommend this consultation document to all families and encourage you to complete the online submission form presented as a link below also. If you like traditional paper responses, there are hard copy booklets available from the office. All submissions are due by April 27 - 2020.


Online Submission Form -


Video contact in the Home Environment 

Many students and teachers at McCarthy are now engaging in short video sessions online to support the delivery of online home learning experiences. It is important for, all families to understand the physical sensitivities of an online video connection during the ‘home learning day’. As teachers, we are acutely aware of the location and set up required for our video communication, especially when it comes to the camera location (ie. office or dining room) and most importantly ‘what’ is being filmed in the background!


Consequently, I instruct all students not to locate themselves in their bedrooms for video sessions. Students need to locate themselves in more public places like lounges or dining rooms with their microphones muted to avoid background noise interfering with the teacher’s instructions. I similarly emphasise my previous communication about a serious approach to learning and ‘dressing for work’ each day. While we are not requiring the school uniform to be worn online, presenting as formally as possible prevents potentially inappropriate experiences for the class members and the teacher. Please support these important directives.


In this time of self-isolation and the closing down of our parish gatherings for Mass, I commend the following excerpt from Bishop Kennedy’s pastoral letter. I strongly encourage all members of the McCarthy faith community to join the ‘live feed’ of Mass each Sunday, particularly as we move into Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday this weekend.


May God go with you.


Mr Geoff McManus - Principal


Assistant Principal -    Pastoral Care

Being a Better Person When It Counts Most

It is difficult to know what to say in a time of such unprecedented concern and upheaval (at least in our lifetime) as we are experiencing now. But in such times my mind keeps returning to Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, a book that has resonated for me over much of my life. Faced with the daunting, almost crippling responsibility of keeping the ring of power away from the evil forces of Mordor, Frodo, the small, seemingly insignificant and unheroic hobbit says: 'I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.' The wise counsellor Gandalf replies: 'So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’ And so, whilst there seems to be much taken out of our control and with more impending, the most important thing that we can do will be the decisions we make with the “time that is given us”.


Pandemics of course are not a new phenomenon. David Brooks writes that:


“Some disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes, can bring people together, but if history is any judge, pandemics generally drive them apart. These are crises in which social distancing is a virtue. Dread overwhelms the normal bonds of human affection.”


From the bubonic plague to the Spanish Influenza pandemic, humans have responded often with inhumanity to others during these times of crisis. Daniel Defoe wrote in the 1600s that “the danger of immediate death to ourselves, took away all bonds of love, all concern for one another.” The poor were sacrificed, class conflict deepened, neighbours were seen as enemies and shunned. Brooks found that it was difficult to find much written about the flu pandemic that swept the US after World War 1 resulting in the death of over 600 000 Americans. He ends up concluding that “Perhaps it’s because people didn’t like who they had become. It was a shameful memory and therefore suppressed.” 


Of course not all was bleak: health-care workers – doctors and nurses – have been a shining light then, as they are today, in their sacrifices to help others through illness and suffering. Their example is instructive for us all; when we work and think of, and for others, we not only feel better within ourselves but we make for a better society. Conversely, when we focus exclusively on self we are often miserable and discontented. While practising social isolation it is worthwhile to explore ways that we can help others, whether literally or virtually.


Jacqui Manning is a psychologist who specializes in anxiety and stress and she has outlined some useful tips for coping with the stress that many are experiencing at this time.

  • Be compassionate with others, and be compassionate with yourself – when you have negative thoughts or ideas running through your mind tell yourself that ‘It’s OK to feel unsettled, and I’m doing the best I can.’

  • Like the Great Depression and the World Wars, 'this too shall pass', so be prepared to take it day by day. To do this you need to move ‘outside’ of “yourself and broaden your perspective on your thoughts, emotions and life in general.” This means involving yourself in activities such as playing with pets, gardening, knitting, crosswords, jig saw puzzles, playing an instrument, restoring furniture, cooking. Activities such as these help you be present in the moment and not consumed by things outside of your control.

  • In contrast, limit your contact on social media – at least for periods throughout the day and instead listen to music that relaxes or soothes.

  • Constantly being exposed to media and information about the virus and its effects can increase the production of stress chemicals in your body. This will elevate anxiety and effect your capacity to make clear decisions, thus making you feel more anxious. Be informed, but don’t saturate yourself with non-stop coverage. Be deliberate when you check in on what is happening.

  • Breathing is a powerful tool to manage feelings of anxiety – Manning suggests the 4-7-8 rule of breathing is a good place to start. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for a count of seven, then breathe out through your mouth slowly for a count of eight. “Do this anywhere, any time and as often as you like” or need. Breathing induces the body to relax. You can’t feel relaxed and stressed simultaneously.

  • Finally, make sure that you have someone with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings. This does not mean you need to express all of your negative thoughts and feelings – it should also involve consciously talking about the things that were good in your day or that you are grateful for having. This doesn’t need to be a person – it may be in diary or blog form. A family might try to do it around the dinner table – trying to identify one thing for which they are grateful in their day.

In times like this it is worth remembering the Philosopher in Ecclesiastes. Most people know the first verse – made famous by The Byrds in the 1960s song ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’. The writer in this Old Testament book is renowned for reflecting deeply on how short and contradictory human life is, with its mysterious injustices and frustrations but he also had an acceptance that we are unable to change what is, urging us to simply accept and do our bit, trusting that in time God will make sense of it all. 


Ecclesiastes 3: 1-22

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 


What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.  


I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. 


And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there. I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”  I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?”


This year we launched our mantra to ‘Be Better Everyday’; in particular, to be a better person. What a wonderful opportunity we have in the coming months to strive to be better learners, friends and people during a testing, challenging period of life – what more opportune time can there be to discover what we are truly capable of achieving, who deep down we really are than under the most testing of situations? The first episode of Friday Night Lights has the star quarterback becoming a paraplegic in the opening game. At the end of the episode Coach Taylor prays:


“Give all of us gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable, and we will all at some point in our lives, fall. We will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts, that what we have is special, that it can be taken from us. And when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls. We will now all be tested. It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.”


Mr Mick Larkin - Assistant Principal - Pastoral Care


Leader of Teaching & Learning 

Important Dates

April 2020

9 April 2020: End of Term 1

10 April 2020: Good Friday - Public Holiday

25 April 2020: ANZAC Day 

27 April 2020: Term 2 Commences


June 2020

5 June 2020: PUPIL FREE DAY - Staff PD Day

8 June 2020: Queen's Birthday - Public Holiday


July 2020

3 July 2020: End of Term 2


August 2020

17 August 2020: PUPIL FREE DAY -  Staff PD day


December 2020

17 December 2020: PUPIL FREE DAY - Staff PD day

18 December 2020: PUPIL FREE DAY -  Staff PD day

Careers News

With all the changes which have occurred in recent weeks, I would like to bring to your attention these matters:

  • Many career related events and excursions due to have been held in Terms 1 and 2 have either been cancelled or postponed

  • Work experience has been cancelled until further notice

  • UAC has stated that current Year 12 students will not be disadvantaged when it comes to university selection. More details will follow.

  • Please keep an eye on the McCarthy Careers page for information on pages set up for each Year group and for updated university and application information as it becomes available. This site is being constantly updated.

Year 12 Students

Information is being provided to Year 12 students via their Google Classroom each week.  This includes careers newsletters and other matters including apprenticeships and gap year options for 2021. Students are advised to check this regularly and parents can also access these newsletters which are updated weekly on the McCarthy Careers page in this section:  Career Newsletters 


UAC will be sending UAC PINs to all Year 12 students this week as UAC applications opened on April 1st this year.  Students are encouraged to keep this PIN safe and make copies if they intend to apply to university.


UAC have made the following online resources also available to assist students at this time:


Year 12 and Year 10 Careers Booklets for 2020

These have been prepared and some have been printed. It is hoped that PDF copies will be made available to students online by either the end of this term or early in term 2.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email.


Mrs Susan Barrett - Careers Adviser


Library News

The library is open if HSC Students would like to borrow a book or photocopy. 



This is an app giving access to fiction and non-fiction e-resources, some for enjoyment and others matched to the McCarthy curriculum. 


This app’s advantage is that it is making McCarthy Library e-resources easily available on your mobile device.

How to access SORA

Firstly, download the free SORA app to your phone or device and enjoy over 2,600 e-resources 24/7. Install the SORA app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or go to

Now follow these instructions

1. Click on the SORA icon.

2. Click on "Find my school" text (in green box)

3. Click on the bottom line that says "my school isn't listed"

4. Type in "McCarthy Catholic College"

5. Click on "this is my school"

6. Click on "sign in using Armidale Catholic Schools Office"

7. The familiar "Cecnet" login in comes up.  Student's current username and password are entered.


Special note: When the initial screen comes up, the student doesn't need an individual "set up code" as their access is through the McCarthy School library system.  If this doesn’t work, students can contact the library for help. We are happy to help any student who is having additional issues.


Once logged in click on Explore and then “Explore all subjects” for an overview of what SORA offers. This is a significant resource for students.  We trust that students will take this opportunity to try it out and come and visit us in the library and let us know how it is going.


The NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge is being completed in 2020 by McCarthy students Year 7-9. This challenge will encourage students to develop a love of reading for enjoyment through experiencing quality literature.  Students will read and fill in a personal reading log of 20 books by Friday 28 August. We are delighted to be partnering with the English Department for the 2020 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge.  We have a copy of the 2020 Booklist at the school library and many of the books on the 2020 Booklist can be found on a dedicated library shelf and some e-books SORA.  For more information go to the official website for parent tips, rules and the official booklist.  Many titles are available through our e-resources and can be found through our online library. 


2020 Schools Writing Competition

Our Library is supporting the English Write4fun Competition.  In the Dewey Decimal 808 section of our library, there are some great “how to” be a writer books. Whether students need to get writing fast with Andy and Terry or want to follow in the footsteps of J.K. Rowling, our library has great guide books to get you writing.  Write4fun Competition link .


Win $1,000! Write4Fun and win cash prizes. Please see the attached poster and entry form for more information. 

Students from McCarthy are entering original poems or short stories in the Write4Fun writing competition and may earn great cash prizes.  There is no theme and entrants are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and to write on any topic and in any style. Students from all years are welcome to enter - Year 7 to Year 12. 


World Book Online

Did you know that McCarthy Catholic College subscribes to World Book Online? 

What does this mean for staff, parents and students?

World Book Online is a great place for students to explore the world around us in a safe and secure online environment. McCarthy students are encouraged to use World Book within the classroom as their first point of reference when conducting research.


World Book Online has thousands of information articles as well as eBooks and lots of interesting and educational games and puzzles. All McCarthy families are welcome to log in to World Book Online and have a look around.  


The Virtual McCarthy Library is available via the McCarthy Learning Homepage.

1.       Go to: Staff or Student dropdown menu

2.       Select McCarthy Library (Oliver)

3.     The link to World Book Online is on the left hand side of the screen.


World Book Online has provided this link:


Happy researching!


Mrs Susan Barrett - Teacher Librarian



Website &
Compass Parent Portal

MCC Website

Please note parental access to the McCarthy website is as below:

Username: parent

Password: Parent2340!


Compass Parent Portal

This week we distributed to each new family their Compass Parent Portal registration and log in details. The Parent Portal will enable parents to be able to:

  • View up-to-date class and school attendance information

  • Approve past absences for your child

  • Access your child's Student Semester Reports

  • Download, print and approve upcoming excursions

  • Update your registered email and mobile number (used for SMS alerts)

  • Access information regarding upcoming events and news

If any parents are having issues with logging in, please contact the College office. 



College Uniform

Uniform Policy Clarification

Clarification has been received from the McCarthy Catholic College Executive in regards to the following policy points:

  • Winter Uniform - students are able to wear their summer uniform during the winter period (Term 2 and 3) if they wish and are comfortable.
  • Sports Socks - students are able to wear plain white ankle socks with their sports uniform.

Updated policies are attached:


The Wearing of Sports Uniform

All students are required to wear their sports uniform to school for their double lesson which will occur once a fortnight on either Tuesdays or Thursdays. The following year groups have PDHPE doubles on these days:


Year 7 - Tuesday Week B timetable (Week 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 of Term 1)

Year 8 - Tuesday Week A timetable (Week 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 of Term 1)

Year 9 - Thursday Week A timetable (Week 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 of Term 1)

Year 10 - Thursday Week B timetable (Week 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 of Term 1)


All students are required to wear:

  • Shirt – School sports shirt with house colour band

  • Shorts – School sports shirt

  • Track pants – Navy sports tracksuit pants

  • White Sport socks (above ankle) and appropriate joggers with laces

  • Hats are mandatory for practical lessons

  • Sunscreen will be provided by PE staff

PASS and SLR students are to bring their PE uniform and get changed before and after their designated lesson in the college change rooms.


New College Uniform

The new College uniform is now available at Lowes, in store and online. Our new uniform will be phased in over the next 2 years with the whole College in the new uniform at the commencement of the 2022 school year. 


The Junior and Senior Uniform Guidelines have been updated and are available on our website by visiting the following link:



General Information

Clothing Pool

The Clothing Pool can be accessed on Mondays through to Thursdays  between 8:00am and 8:30am via the bottom carpark. It can be found at the top of the stairs, to the left (facing Tribe Street).

Study Club

The MCC Study Club runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3.00pm to 5.00pm during school term in the Library. It is fully supervised and students have access to the Library resources and computers to assist with their study. 

Hours of Supervision

The playground will be supervised from 8:30am. School hours are 8:45am – 3:00pm. After school, students will be supervised in the bus bay area until the last bus leaves.

Leadership Team 

Principal - Mr Geoff McManus

Assistant Principals - Mrs Sally Sparke and Mr Mick Larkin

Mission, Spiritual Formation and RE Coordinator - Mrs Cate Allen

Leader of Teaching and Learning - Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Leader of Pedagogy - Mrs Briony Martin

Leader of Student Wellbeing - Mrs Sharon Stuart

The 2020 Pastoral Care Team

Year 7 Leader of Student Care - Mr Damian Kenniff

Year 8 Leader of Student Care - Mrs Melissa Bearup 

Year 9 Leader of Student Care - Mr Bernie Williams

Year 10 Leader of Student Care -  Mr Andrew Davy

Year 11 Leader of Student Care - Mrs Melissa Lees   

Year 12 Leader of Student CareMrs Fiona O'Neill

College Counsellors - Mrs Tamara Shoemark and Mrs Aimee Cook

McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter
Hockey Club Contacts.pdf
MCC Educational Brief.pdf
Bishop Kennedy April 2020.pdf
Lent Menu MCC Canteen 2020.pdf
MCC Canteen Menu 2020.pdf
QKR Instructions.pdf
MCC - Junior Uniform Guidelines Feb 2020.pdf
MCC - Senior Uniform Guidelines Feb 2020.pdf
2-2020 Quarterly Brochure Tam Feb Mar Apr.pdf
Engaging Adolescents 2020.pdf
College Drop Off & Pick Up Information.pdf
College Drop Off & Pick Up Map.pdf
Book Depository Entry Details.pdf
Write4Fun - Poster and Entry Form.pdf