McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

14 December 2017
Term 4 Week 10 2017
Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal
Important Dates
Teaching and Learning
Careers News
Creative Arts
McCarthy Parents Association
Canteen Dinner 2017
Christmas Masses
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection



Dear Jesus,

I accept your invitation.

By your Spirit and your grace,

help me to get ready for your coming

into my heart and my life

on Christmas Day.



Advent Reflection

On the First Sunday of Advent we are in effect given an invitation to celebrate with God the entry of his Son into the world for the express purpose of our salvation and reconciliation with Him.  The dual locations for this celebration are heaven and earth. On this first Sunday we are also given a timely reminder to be ready; ready to receive the gifts of hope and love that Jesus will bring us. One of the hymns selected for our final Thanksgiving Mass on December 13 in the school Hall was “My Heart is a Stable”; through its very simple imagery, this title captures the underlying theme of the first week of Advent – how can we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas? Spending a little time each day in prayer and reflection about what it actually means for us to live with Christ in our heart, spending time reading the Scriptures and by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation we can certainly make sure our hearts are ‘clean’ and ready to receive our special Christmas  guest.  But of course, in the business of the season, in order for these things to happen and not be overlooked, we need to “pencil them in our diaries.”   


I would like to wish all a holy and joyous Christmas.



Our thoughts and prayers go to Maggie Fulwood and her family following the passing of her grandfather. 


Mrs Cate Allen

Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator


Principal's Report

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.


Thank You

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.

Award Night

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!


Landcare Scholarship

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!

Sports Uniform

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:

Time                                     Event

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 to a domain ending with 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 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!

May God go with you.

Mr Geoff McManus


Assistant Principal

2017 has been a very full year for all aspects of school life. Each week, each term, is filled with learning, cultural, social and spiritual endeavours. This is the lived embodiment of our motto – Receive. Worship. Serve.


I would like to wish all families a holy and peace-filled Christmas.


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.


Mrs Sally Sparke - Assistant Principal

Important Dates

14 Dec:      HSC results released

15 Dec:      ATARs released

15 Dec:      Term 4 concludes

18 Dec:      College Office open



25 Jan:      College Office open

26 Jan:      Australia Day

29 Jan:      Staff return 

30 Jan:     Term 1 commences for Years 7, 11 and new students

31 Jan:     Whole school return

Teaching and Learning

Learning is our work. Students have now successfully completed programs of work in Key Learning Areas, their hard work has been celebrated and end of year reports have been emailed to parents and carers; clearly 2017 has been a productive and enjoyable year.


Year 11

For Year 11 - our new Year 12 students, Term 4 has been challenging as they ‘wind up’ their first term of HSC school based assessment. Adjusting to the guidelines around HSC school based assessment and learning the NESA rules and procedures requires effort and clarity on what is substantiated reason for missing assessments. Students must fill in an extension form for special consideration, illness or misadventure and provide acceptable documentation. The school must be notified by 9:00am if they are absent with good reason, according to the steps outlined on the blue form and in the assessment schedule booklet. The Teaching and Learning team request the support of parents in maintaining integrity in assessment by ensuring their child adheres to the McCarthy Assessment Policy which is available on the school website and Year 12 students have a printed copy.


There is a temptation over the January ‘sales’ to book cheap holidays and take advantage of deals in non peak periods. I implore all families to please consider the impact this has on daily school life; in particular school based assessment. Half Yearly Examinations, Major Works, even during the school holidays for Year 12 students, will require them to be able to focus on their job as a student without the added stress of being away. All applications for leave must be approved by the Principal.


New pens and pencils and fresh new books all signify a brand new year and a fresh new start. Please make sure students are fully prepared when they return to school in 2018.


I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our KLA Coordinators and our talented teaching teams this year and thank them for their dedication and leadership.


To our learners, the students of McCarthy Catholic College, have a good break, read a book and I look forward to seeing you for another wonderful year in 2018.


Merry Christmas.

Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Careers News

Year 12

With HSC results and ATARs being released at the end of this week, I urge all Year 12 students AND their parents to read this and the attachment which has important advice and information especially if students are disappointed with a low, or lower than expected, ATAR.  Each year there will be students who will experience joy and elation while for others  it may be a time of despair, disappointment, embarrassment and tears.  I urge students and Year 12 parents to seek help and advice if this is the case.  I can only help those who contact me so please know that I am available to do so.

Key Dates

  • Thursday 14 December - HSC results available from 6:00am
  • Friday  15 December - ATARs released from 9:00am
  • Sunday 17 December - deadline for changing preferences for December Round 2 at midnight
  • Thursday 21 December - December Round 2 university offers released by UAC at 7:30am

For details  on the UAC dates and offers, please go to 


Students who are applying to university should have downloaded the My UAC free app to their phone and write down the key dates and times.


The many opportunities available to our students include:

1) Honeywell Engineering Summer School this week two Year 11 students will gain a first hand understanding of what engineering is and how it works in everyday life, live on campus at Dunmore Lang College, attend lectures and demonstrations at five prestigious NSW universities.


2) UNE Rural Scholars Medical Summer School - in November, a Year 11 student attended this Medical school staying on campus at Mary White College at UNE and experienced what first year medical students would see and do in anatomy labs with cadavers, a clinical hospital and simulation medical situations.  UNE provided an invaluable experience for students desiring to study medicine, become a doctor and work in rural areas. "Well worth applying!"  was the comment from our student. 

3) Wollongong University Discovery Day - in early February a group of current Year 10 students will attend an excursion to see first hand university life, courses, stay on campus and receive information about scholarships and other aspects of university.


4) Work Experience - the last few weeks have seen various students in Years 10 and 11 completing voluntary Work Experience to provide valuable insight into careers. Some of these have led to offers of employment for our students.


5) Engineering Courses and Careers' Lunchtime Workshop - a group of students in Years 9-11 attended this recent talk.


By reading emails, attending talks and taking up opportunities mentioned on the McCarthy Careers Facebook page, students are able to enhance their knowledge of what is possible for them when they leave school and I congratulate them for showing initiative in doing this.

Creative Arts

Band Camp 2017

On 28 November, Mrs Lane and Mr Patricks accompanied ten students for Years 7- 9 to a three day Bandlink Workshop in Narrabri.

On day 1, we started with warm up activities and then moved into some advanced band pieces that we had never seen before. We were a little intimidated by the pieces as they consisted of many notes we had not yet played. We never thought we would be able to play it, but with the help of our tutors, by the end of the three days, we were extremely confident with the pieces and could play all the notes.

Day 2 was full of practice and tutorials all helping us to grow more confident in our ability to play. That night, after we all got dressed in our best to impress the audience, we played a concert. The concert had a water/seascape theme with pieces like Rippling Water Colours, Australian Sea Ballad and A Sailor's Odyssey.

On day 3, we were introduced to some pop pieces such as Coldplay and All About That Bass. After spending the rest of our final day rehearsing, we got ready for another concert, this time for the local school. We played our new pieces along with some from the previous days. We had a great time and learnt lots of new skills. We would like to thank Mrs Lane and Mr Patricks for coming with us on the camp.        

By Hannah Kampe and Martha Smith (Year 8) 


Regional Youth Orchestra NSW Review

Recently, Eleanor George and myself were accepted into the Regional Youth Orchestra New South Wales (RYO NSW) Artstate project, alongside 40+ musicians from Conservatoriums around NSW, who had also auditioned for a place in the orchestra. Four musicians from Tamworth were accepted, two being from McCarthy.

The most recent project was held in Lismore from November 27 to December 2. Musicians were accommodated at Southern Cross University (SCU) campus, which is where we rehearsed. Each day consisted of nine hours of rehearsal with three hours of breaks. This was due to the difficulty of the pieces, some of which included Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.  The experience for both myself and Eleanor was challenging, as we were required to step up in dedication and skill.

The project was similar to others RYO NSW has run, as in 2016 we performed at the Australian Opera Ballet and Orchestra (AOBO) project, Australian World Orchestra (AWO) project, Artlands project in Dubbo, an octet at Sydney State Parliament House and another project conducted at Sydney Conservatorium with AWO and Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO).

To conclude, these projects offer some amazing opportunities to perform and experience life as a professional orchestral musician. These projects have strengthened our abilities to listen to fellow musicians and their parts within the orchestra, the ability to collaborate with other musicians and enhance our performance skills. RYO NSW has been an incredibly rewarding experience, assisting to develop the skills we require to pursue a career in the music industry. 

Augustine Mundele-Turner


McCarthy Parents Association


The MCC Parent Association would like to thank all families for their generous support of our fundraising throughout 2017.

We are looking forward to another year of great fundraisers.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.

Canteen Dinner 2017

Canteen Dinner 2017

Volunteers are our canteen’s most precious resource and during 2017 we were fortunate to enjoy the dedication and commitment of 34 volunteers who collectively provided 1388 hours of service for our College.  Some helped out weekly, fortnightly, monthly, once a term or whenever they could just pop in.  Without our volunteers our canteen would not exist.  A volunteer’s recognition dinner was held 6 December where staff and some SLC students provided an evening with a Christmas banquet, farewells and festivities.  It was a merry evening and an opportunity to express our gratitude to our generous volunteers.  This year four of our team have ‘hung up their aprons’ and we sincerely thank Laura Hughes, Brenda Crowell, Tanya O’Shannessy and Karen Parker for their years of service.

Helping in our canteen is a terrific opportunity to meet with other parents, grandparents and staff, experience a day in the life of McCarthy, gain food handling experience and give students a thrill to see you in the canteen.  If you are interested in joining us in 2018, please do not hesitate to contact me on 67610856 or [email protected]

Thank you for your support of our canteen during the year.  May Christmas bring special blessings to you and yours with health and happiness in the New Year.

Mrs Raelee Balderston - Canteen Supervisor



Christmas Masses

2017 Christmas Mass Times

St Nicholas, East Tamworth

Sunday 24 December:   Family Mass  7:00pm

Sunday 24 December:   Christmas Vigil Mass  9:00pm

Sunday 24 December:   Midnight Mass

Monday 25 December:   Christmas Mass  9:30am


St Mary's Church

Monday 25 December:   Christmas Mass  7:30am

St Michael's Catholic Community Church


Sunday 24 December:  Christmas Vigil Mass  6:30pm



Monday 25 December:  Christmas Mass  8:30am



Monday 25 December:  Christmas Mass  10:00am


St Edward's, South Tamworth - Mary Help of Christians

Sunday 24 December:   Children's Mass  6:00pm

Sunday 24 December:   Christmas Vigil Mass (in Filipino)  8:00pm

Sunday 24 December:   Midnight Mass

Monday 25 December:   Christmas Mass  9:00am

St Patrick's, West Tamworth

Sunday 24 December:   Christmas Vigil Mass  6:00pm

Monday 25 December:   Christmas Mass  9:00am


St Michael's, Manilla


Monday 25 December:   9:30am



Monday 25 December:    9:30am


St Brigid's, Quirindi


Sunday 24 December:  Christmas Vigil Mass  7:00pm

Monday 25 December:  Christmas Mass  9:30am


Willow Tree

Monday 25 December:  Christmas Mass  8:00am


St Thomas More, Werris Creek

Wednesday 20 December:  Parish Reconciliation Rite 2  5:30pm

Sunday 24 December:   Christmas Vigil Mass  8:00pm

Monday 25 December:  Christmas Mass  8:30am


St Joseph's, Gunnedah

Sunday 24 December:  Christmas Vigil Mass  7:00pm (St Xavier's Hall)

Monday 25 December:  Christmas Mass  8:30am



General Information

Clothing Pool

The Clothing Pool can be accessed on Thursdays between 12:30pm and 1:30pm via the bottom carpark. It can be found at the top of the stairs, to the left (facing Tribe Street)

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.

Executive Staff

Principal: Mr Geoff McManus

Assistant Principal: Mrs Sally Sparke

Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator: Mrs Cate Allen

Teaching and Learning Coordinator: Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Pastoral Care Coordinator: Mrs Libby Molony

Leader of Pedagogy: Mrs Briony Martin

Year Coordinators

The 2017 Pastoral Care team is:

Pastoral Care Coordinator    

Mrs Libby Molony

[email protected]                    


Year 7 Coordinator - Mr Andrew Davy 

[email protected]                         


Year 8 Coordinator - Mrs Melissa Bearup

[email protected]                  


Year 9 Coordinator - Mr Bernie Williams

[email protected]                 


Year 10 Coordinator - Mr Damian Kenniff 

[email protected]                     


Year 11 Coordinator - Mrs Michelle Gale 

[email protected]                         


Year 12 Coordinator - Mrs Fiona O'Neill 

[email protected]                         

Change of Details

It is imperative that the office be advised about any change of details from last year, such as change in family situation, address, workplace, email addresses, phone numbers – mobile and landline for home and work.

McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter
Movie gift voucher ticket order form 2017.pdf
Advice from Mrs Barrett as ATAR Release Day approaches (2).docx
Advice from Mrs Barrett as ATAR Release Day approaches (2).docx
2017 St Eds Christmas Schedule (2).pdf