End of Year
This final newsletter marks the close of the school year for all our students for another year. It is my sincerest hope that all our young men and women, and their families, have had an enjoyable and fulfilling year. It is also with some sadness that we bid farewell to some of our families. There are some who have been associated with the College for many years. What is often overlooked is that good schools also develop community amongst the parent/caregiver body as well. Therefore, when a student completes their final day at McCarthy, it can also be an emotional time for parents who have built strong partnerships and relationships with others within our community. I would like to wish all departing families the very best and thank you for your support and contribution to the College during your time with us.
Over the past few weeks, all students have been participating in exams. The next phase of the assessment process is the report back to the students, parents and teachers. The final report is a “point in time” report that indicates to the students, their parents and teachers what students have learned over the year. Any assessment set for students is an indication of what the teacher would like to the student to know from the unit of work. It is also feedback to the teacher about not only what each student learned but also the cohort. These results, amongst other information, can be used as evidence regarding the impact of teaching upon the group. It is also worth noting that the assessments over the year do not just include content retention, but also skills that are sequentially developed over a period of years. Furthermore, some of these skills such as writing and reading comprehension are targeted as a priority for the whole school and the results, amongst other information, can inform us of the impact of our programs as well.
The end of any year always brings mixed emotions for the College staff. Whilst it is always nice to be able to take a break from work, it is also a time when we farewell some of our colleagues. We farewell the following staff and wish them well in their new phase of life - Mr Matt Feltrin; Mrs Jennifer Madden; Ms Kisani Upward; Mrs Colleen O’Meagher and Mr Steve Donnelly.
We thank and farewell the following staff as they complete their contracts - Mr Patrick Bradbery; Ms Hayley Fitzsimmons; Miss Phoebe Molenaar; Ms Katherine Ackland; Mrs Marnie Didlick; Miss Paige Kranz and Mr David Northey.
I welcome the following staff to McCarthy from 2018 - Mr Mick Larkin - English KLA Coordinator; Miss Lauren Ryan - HSIE/RE teacher; Mr Brad Mitchell - PDHPE teacher and IT Assistant - Mr Daniel Glasson.
I am also pleased to announce Mrs Julie Kellahan as the new VET Coordinator.
I would also like to use this opportunity to thank the entire staff of the McCarthy Catholic College community. The dedicated work completed by the Administration and Support Staff is evident through the presentation of facilities and services and the efficient running of the College. Our teaching staff have worked very hard to not only teach but also support, motivate and encourage our students to be the best that they can be. Finally, the numerous opportunities across a broad range of activities is also testament to the expertise and generosity of the entire staff.
I would also particularly like to thank and recognise the efforts of the College Executive over this year. I believe that McCarthy is very fortunate to have senior leaders with such expertise and dedication as Mrs Sally Sparke, Mrs Cate Allen, Mrs Libby Molony, Mrs Briony Martin and Mrs Raelene Maxworthy. In contemporary times of change their counsel and wisdom is deeply appreciated. I would also like to thank the parents and caregivers of each of our students. Thank you for your support of the College and what we do and for the partnership that you have entered into with us to help your sons and daughters reach their potential. Whilst school holidays are generally seen as a time for a break from work, I am also very aware that many of our parents cannot take a holiday during this period due to work and/or farm commitments. I look forward to working with our staff and families again next year and hope that everyone has an opportunity for some form of holiday over the festive season.
Congratulations to all of the award winners from our Academic Award Night held last Monday. It was a fitting climax to the academic year for all of the wonderful work that our talented students have been able to achieve through hard work and dedication. Their willingness to work in partnership with their teachers and peers to advance their personal achievement was showcased beautifully throughout the ceremony. While the flow of the night was certainly interrupted by an inconvenient electrical fault in the Sound Room and a subsequent visit by the local Fire Brigade, the sense of celebration and reward for a job well done was quite palpable. Thank you to all the parents and relatives who were able to attend. In conclusion, I also particularly identify the long weeks of hard work and ‘eye-for-detail’ undertaken by Mrs Christine Gall and Mrs Jo O’Brien to present such a quality showpiece of our academic program. Well done to all involved!
Congratulations to Samarah Thrift on receiving the local Landcare Scholarship of $1000 to support her aspirations to study and support sustainable environmental interventions. Landcare President - Mr John Tucker presented the scholarship at our final assembly this week and highlighted the fact that Samarah's submission was selected out of more than thirty from the ten local high schools in the New England area. This is a significant achievement and one that we are very proud of for Samarah. Well done!
We are in the process of changing the McCarthy Catholic College Sports Uniform and had hoped to have the new uniforms available for Year 7, 2018 students. Unfortunately, there has been a delay and the new uniforms will not be ready until end of Term 1, 2018. Therefore, new parents will need to purchase a current McCarthy Sports shirt for the commencement of 2018. Lowes will be discounting their current stock and there are second-hand shirts available at the McCarthy Clothing Pool. New Year 7 students may wear plain navy shorts until the official shorts become available. Updates will be communicated through the McCarthy Newsletter in 2018. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. Ongoing students can continue to wear the current McCarthy Sports shirt and shorts as usual.
In the preparations for a positive 2018 I ask that families look carefully at the uniform requirements as listed in the school planner and on the website. A particular reminder that white socks are worn with the McCarthy Sports uniform.
Changes to Learning Periods from 2018 - A Five Period Day
To assist in promoting our ongoing commitment and effort to enhance comparative learning gain, we will be lengthening the learning periods from the beginning of 2018. Contemporary research in schools would suggest that a longer lesson allows for more effective teaching and learning to occur. In shifting from fifty minute lessons to one hour lessons we lose one period from our current six period day. Students will now experience a five period day with sixty minute lessons and two equal break times of thirty minutes each for Recess and Lunch. The starting and finishing times are not affected. The new bell times are listed below:
8:45am - 8:50am Movement Bell (5 mins)
8:50am - 9:00am Mentor Group (10 mins)
9:00am - 10:00am Period 1 (60 mins)
10:00am - 11:00am Period 2 (60 mins)
11:00am - 11:30am Recess (30 mins)
11:30am - 12:30pm Period 3 (60 mins)
12:30pm - 1:30pm Period 4 (60 mins)
1:30pm - 2:00pm Lunch (30 mins)
2:00pm - 3:00pm Period 5 (60 mins)
QKR! Coming Soon!
As many of our families with students at the local Catholic primary schools would know, the QKR! App is a fast and easy way to make payments. McCarthy is in the final stages of setting up the accounts with QKR! ready for a 2018 launch! Details will be communicated in early newsletters in 2018.
Move to a Single Email Domain
Across the entire Armidale Diocese there is a strategic move at play to migrate all email addresses in schools to a single email domain. From the beginning of 2018, students will be migrated from the domain @mccarthy.nsw.edu.au to a domain ending with @armstu.catholic.edu.au. This intervention will allow students to move more easily from their Catholic primary schools without losing all of the work saved in their Google Drives or Google Classrooms. Staff and Administration emails will also change to @arm.catholic.edu.au to support consistency and portability across the Diocese for staff. New contact details will be communicated early in 2018.
Return to School 2018
The Administration Office opens on Thursday 25 January and teaching staff return for professional development on Monday 29 January 2017. Years 7 and 11 and new students participate in Induction Day on Tuesday 30 January while the whole school (Years 7 to 12) will begin classes on Wednesday 31 January.
May you have a merry and Holy Christmas and a happy New Year!