McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

24 May 2018
24 May 2018
Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Important Dates
Teaching and Learning
Careers News
McCarthy Parents Association
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection


"I do have faith!

Please help me to have even more." (MK9:24)


Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

St Dominic, pray for us.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.


Spiritual Retreat

On Tuesday 8 May, thirteen McCarthy staff attended a short spiritual retreat run by the Diocesan Renewal team. Teachers reflected on the theme, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” as a means of honing understanding and consciousness of our Christian responsibility to look out for those in our everyday contexts and relationships.  

Further to this, staff were provided with a second instalment of faith formation at our most recent Staff Meeting. The core message and content of the short presentation centred on the stages of faith formation and the need to recognise these different and recurring aspects of our own faith and, more importantly, to recognise the importance and value of individual engagement with the Scriptures and theological reading and reflection in order to assist the development of a mature faith.

Mrs Cate Allen

Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator


Principal's Report

Catholic Schools’ Week

Catholic Schools' Week (CSW) 2018 will be held from 27 May to 2 June and will involve the communities of all Catholic primary and secondary schools across the Diocese of Armidale. The theme for CSW 2018 is ‘Serve. Learn. Lead’. Similarly, the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards will be announced after the Celebration Mass in Armidale on Tuesday May 29. More news to come in our next newsletter.


Parent Information Night - Raising Teenagers in a Hypersexual Digital World

As many parents and teachers can attest, social media can and does cause significant distress and harm when used in the wrong way. Issues such as sexting and exposure to pornography are examples of disturbing online experiences that are not only illegal but can have a deep psychological impact on both boys and girls in their formative and teenage years. The key to dealing with such types of inappropriate behaviour is education for both young people and their parents on responsible and ethical use of technology.

As a 5-year cross-Diocese investment from 2018, an organisation called ‘Real Talk’ will be conducting Parent Information Nights and Year Level workshops across the schools in the Diocese to educate, inform and support a change in online behaviour. The first set of workshops for McCarthy students will be held on Tuesday June 19 for Year 9 and Wednesday June 20 for Year 7.

All parents of Year 7 and 9 students are encouraged to attend a Parent Information Night on Monday June 18 in the College Hall. An information flyer outlining the topics being covered, especially for parents, is attached to to this newsletter. Please RSVP via Qkr! before Wednesday June 13. Parents of students in other year levels are welcome to attend but need to RSVP so we have a good idea of potential attendance by Wednesday June 13.

Enrolment Information Evenings

The Enrolment Information Evenings conducted over the past two weeks were specifically directed at Year 6 students currently enrolled in our Armidale Diocese Catholic Primary Schools or for siblings of currently enrolled students. Nights such as these provide an opportunity to reinforce academic, behavioural, cultural and sporting expectations, as well as taking the ‘stress’ out of a ‘face-to-face’ interview process. For those students enrolling from outside the Catholic system, interviews with Leadership team members have begun in earnest to ensure final offers are sent out no later than the beginning of Term 3, 2018.



As a Diocese, aspiring for ‘best practice’ in all that we do, I am pleased to report that the inaugural year of NAPLAN Online for Year 7 and 9 students went off relatively smoothly. Notwithstanding some minor technical glitches, a number of  students have reported their appreciation of being able to complete their NAPLAN assessments within two days. Most dissatisfaction surrounded the requirement to ‘type’ the Writing Task in contrast to hand-writing. We now await the results to not only ascertain whether the respective assessments were completed correctly, but how well have students demonstrated a pattern of growth in literacy and numeracy, both individually and as a year cohort.


Upcoming Exams for Years 7, 8, 9, 10

As McCarthy continues to move towards more formative assessments in the junior years, the formal exam period for Years 7 to 10 will be significantly reduced. At the time of writing, we should be delivering exams for no more than two or three days in Week 6 of this term. A schedule will be communicated to students this week.


Debutante Ball

Good luck to the Year 12 students who make their debut at the St Nicholas’ Parish Catholic Debutante Ball on Friday 1 June. After many weeks of practice, the students and their partners are excited for the opportunity to ‘trip the light fantastic’ on the dance floor at the Town Hall. While I am personally unable to attend due to absence at professional development, I trust that the students and their families enjoy a wonderful night of culture, dancing and comradery.


Assistant Principal - Teacher Learning

As a College committed to ongoing improvement in pedagogy in the classroom and in partnership with the Catholic Schools Office, the McCarthy Leadership Team has made the necessary decision to advertise for a second Assistant Principal to actively support the growing demands of leading a contemporary teaching and learning agenda. The advertised  role is specifically targeted to support middle leaders and teachers. Suitably qualified and experienced applicants are encouraged to investigate the role through online portals such as Teachers On Net, Catholic Jobs online, Jora, SEEK,  and the CSO website.


Pupil Free Day Friday 8 June

The annual Religious Education Professional Development day for McCarthy staff will be conducted on Friday 8 June. This type of professional learning for staff is set down annually to assist in the spiritual formation of teaching staff aligned to the Core Catholic Principles and Values (CCPV) of the Armidale Diocese. The theme for 2018 is ‘For the Common Good’.

There will be no classes for students on Friday 8 June and Monday 11 June is a scheduled public holiday. Classes resume for all students at 8:45am on Tuesday 12 June.


Skoolbag App Upgrade

We have recently upgraded the McCarthy Skoolbag App to the latest version. Parents will need to follow the prompts to set up a username and password when they next use the app.



We welcome Tyanna Kerr (Year 8) and her family to the McCarthy community.


May God go with you.

Mr Geoff McManus


Important Dates


28 May: Catholic Schools' Week

29 May: ICAS Science

29 May: Spirit of Catholic Education Mass and Awards - Armidale

30 May: Physics Excursion

1 June: First Friday Mass

1 June: Deb Ball

4 June: Years 7, 8, 9, 10 Exams commence

4 June: HSC Business Studies and Economics Booster Day - Armidale

5 June: Year 12 Twilight Retreat

7 June: Agriculture Careers Expo Excursion


11 June: Long weekend

12 June: Film-Making Workshop

12 June: Tamworth Eisteddfod

14 June: ICAS Writing

18 June: Real Talk Parent Information Evening

19 June: Association Meeting

19 June: Year 9 'Real Talk' Day

20 June: Year 7 'Real Talk' Day

27 June: Netball Gala Day - Armidale

4 July: NAIDOC Assembly

4 July: Parent/Teacher Interviews 3:30pm - 7:30pm

5 July: University of Newcastle Open Day

5 July: ATSI Cultural Knowledge Sharing Excursion

6 July: First Friday Mass

6 July: Term 2 concludes



Teaching and Learning


Week 3 was exceptionally busy with Year 7 and 9 students completing NAPLAN online. I was very impressed with the way students applied themselves and their preparedness and organisation was fantastic. Very simply, we asked the students to do their best work.


Some Half-Yearly Examinations are scheduled in the College Hall during Week 6; others will be conducted in class. Students will be given a timetable during Mentor Group this week. We continue to encourage students to give their best effort in all assessments. Again, making sure students are demonstrating their real ability on the day is very important. Teachers spend time analysing results and making adjustments, so it is important that we are looking at the true ‘snapshot’ of a student at that moment in time.

Please make sure your child attends all examinations with the correct equipment and that they follow the instructions on their published timetable. These will be distributed via Mentor Groups this week. Copies will also be available on the College website. It is very important that all students who have genuinely unavoidable absence follow the procedures outlined below and include the required documentation.

Exam procedures for students include:

·         Please be prepared with appropriate equipment needed for each exam:  paper, pens, pencils, eraser, ruler, tissues and any other specific items as notified by your teacher.

·         Mobile phones devices and smart watches are not to be brought into the Hall – leave them in your bag which will be locked in the foyer.

·         If you wear a watch into the Hall, it must be removed from your wrist and placed on the desk in full view.

·         If you bring in a pencil case or clear water bottle, it must be placed on the floor.

·         Go to the toilet before an exam.

Appropriate behaviour is expected:

·         Follow teacher instructions.

·         Do not speak to other students.

·         Sit quietly when you have finished the exam, you are not allowed to leave early.

·         Respect other students’ right to complete their exam without disturbance.


If students are unwell, a phone call to the College or email to [email protected] from their parent is required before the start of the examination and a medical certificate MUST be presented on their return. The medical certificate must be attached to a blue ‘Application for Extension of or Special Consideration for an Assessment Task'. These are available from the office. Please forward this completed application to Mrs Maxworthy by handing it into the office staff.


Year 10 Minimum Standards

Some Year 10 students will be sitting the Minimum Standards later this term. Students will be emailed with their days and times. Further information about these online tests can be found in this link:

Mrs Raelene Maxworthy - Teaching and Learning Coordinator

2018 Australian Geography Competition

Senior Geography students  took part in the 24th annual Australian Geography Competition this week. Over 70,000 students from around Australia entered the competition, which is a joint initiative of the Australian Geography Teachers' Association and the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland. The competition gives teachers an opportunity to highlight Geography in their schools and challenge their students.

Mrs Sharon Stuart - Geography Teacher

'STOLEN' Performance Reminder

Subjects: Drama (Years 9-12), English (Year 10), ATSI students (Years 9-12)

Please ensure your child/children have returned their signed permission form for this important event. Payment can be made through Qkr!, credit card (details on the permission note) or by cash.

Stolen (referring to the Stolen Generation) is ultimately a play about love and loss, resilience and hope. The play  is a thoughtful and moving reminder of our past and our present; its themes resonate in various subject syllabuses.

Ms Felicity Sawtell


Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Careers News

The last few weeks have seen many opportunities for our students to explore careers, courses and pathways after leaving school.


UNE Open Day

The sun shone and the wind-chill factor was there but our group of Year 12 students explored what UNE had to offer after enjoying breakfast at Robb College.  Tours of various faculties, attending presentations and being able to talk to lecturers about courses were among the highlights.


North West Regional Careers Expo

McCarthy students from Years 10-12 attending the Expo at the TRECC on Wednesday 16 May. Feedback from students and exhibitors was positive.  Students had their eyes opened to the range of possible careers and courses they could  pursue after school.  It was great to also see several ex-McCarthy students who were now at the Expo working with and for various exhibitors including employers, organisations and universities.


Other Opportunities

This week, there was an Entry to Medical School Workshop for Year 11 and 12 students interested in a career in Medicine hosted by  the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UONDRH).  

Last week some senior students and their parents attended a presentation by UAC  open to all local secondary schools at Calrossy's William Cowper Campus.

We also welcomed representatives from Bond University and the University of Newcastle who spoke to interested students. 

Term 2 is all about taking advantage of opportunities, broadening horizons and gathering information.  Students have had many opportunities so far and there will be more to come.  It is an exciting time in the lives of our students.

Mrs Susan Barrett - Careers Adviser

Email: [email protected]

McCarthy Parents Association



The next Association Meeting will be held on Tuesday 19 June at 7:15pm in the Staff Room. All are most welcome to attend.


Air Force Cadets Music Camp

Miller Lloyd (Year 8) and I settled into life on the RAAF Base at Richmond for seven days of living and breathing military band life. Most days started with two and a half hours of marching practice followed by up to nine hours of concert band practice. Over the week we learnt and mastered pieces from around the world with themes from Scotland, Africa and Italy.  We also played favourites from Jersey Boys to Stevie Wonder. During the course Miller Lloyd played Tenor Saxophone and I played the Baritone Saxophone and the Bassoon.

Major highlights from the course were performing for the Minister of Defence, Marise Payne; Deputy of the Royal Australia Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Garvin Turnbull AM; and other high ranking officers of the RAAF and Air Forces from around the world. As well as showing our skills to the Defence Force, we were treated to a day with the Lancer Band, made up of members in the Australian Army Reserves.

The week of military band life came to an end after a final concert for parents and our Wing Commander, all played out and drained from over eighty hours of rehearsal, hard work and dedication to  life on base. We all dispersed and departed homewards, some back to Port Macquarie and Dubbo, others home to as far as Canberra and Tasmania.

Miller and I returned home with many great stories and ambitions for the next national musicians course in September.

Tully Munro (Year 9)


Regional Youth Orchestra of NSW

On 29 April, three McCarthy students, Augustine Mundele-Turner, Ryan Thompson and Eleanor George, travelled to Sydney to participate in The Regional Youth Orchestra of New South Wales (RYO NSW). We arrived on Sunday at the Sydney Central YHA and upon arrival, we travelled to Circular Quay and rehearsed for approximately five hours. The following three days included rehearsal that lasted approximately twelve hours.

Throughout the four days of rehearsal, we learned only two pieces, those being the first movement of “Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony” and a piece commissioned by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra titled “XPT”.

The program also incorporated tutoring and a performance from the Australian World Orchestra. As aspiring musicians, we found their advice and example incredibly encouraging and invaluable.

Being given the opportunity to participate in this program has allowed us to become better musicians, as the professionals we met and interacted with from the AWO and others, have imparted wisdom the likes of which we would not find elsewhere.

It was an amazing experience for all of us, and we look forward to playing on our own and with other ensembles in the future.



School Athletics Carnival

On Thursday 11 May, the annual McCarthy Athletics Carnival was held at the Tamworth Regional Sporting Complex. At least 100 students arrived early to participate in the distance events;  800 and 1500 metres. The competition and participation was excellent despite a dust storm arriving around lunch time.

The Discus and Javelin events were held on the previous Thursday and Friday at the College.

The attendance on the day was excellent and, as was the case with the Swimming Carnival, the atmosphere, team spirit and leadership shown by the House captains and senior students was outstanding.

Due to time constraints and the large number of students participating in track and field events, the relays were held at McCarthy, period 5 on Friday 18 May.  

The relays were a very exciting event at school and it was a great way to end the week. The atmosphere was great with the hill on the oval packed with House groups supporting the six relay races. There was some close and exciting finishes. Chisholm did enough to maintain their lead and win the Athletics Carnival; a sweet victory and the first win for quite some time. The results and Age Champions are as follows:

1st: Chisholm (994 points)

2nd: Dominic (959 points)

3rd: Mackillop (938 points) 

4th: Edmund Rice (755 points). 


Boys Champions

12 years: Lindsay Maxworthy

13 years: Benjamin Chick

14 years: Brady Painter

15 years: Benjamin Nelson

16 years: Thomas Croake

17 years: Nicholas Taggart


Girls Champions

12 years: Tomi Gavin

13 years: Wunda Jaffer-Williams

14 years: Georgia Simms

15 years: Jada Taylor

16 years: Melanie Young

17 years: Julia Hannaford


Congratulations to the following students who broke records: Benjamin Nelson (15 years 200m), Kilian Apen (14 years Javelin), Ethan Miller (15 years Javelin and Shot Put), Benjamin Chick (13 years Long Jump and High Jump), William Lake (15 years High Jump) and Wunda Jaffer-Williams (14 years Javelin).

Friday Night Rugby 

Friday 11 May saw the start of the Friday Night Rugby competition. With most teams training for some time, it was great to finally compete against other teams. This year we have six teams: two Under 14 teams, an Under 16 team and an Opens team. The girls are well represented with an Under 16s team and an Opens team.  

The night kicked off with the 14s Boys' White team having a 24-all draw with Calrossy which was a great effort considering many players are from a Rugby League background and are still learning the finer arts of Rugby Union. Some really strong running and tackling by Sebastian Lawler, Luke Tongue and Ben Chick was a highlight.

The Under 14s Gold team had a narrow 24-22 win against Barraba/Quirindi; a great second half comeback, stealing the win. A big thank you to Doughal O’Reilly for his help in training and assisting coaching the team.

The Under 16s Girls' team recorded two losses but improved considerably in their second game. With continued experience they have the nucleus of a good team led by talented players such as Jada Taylor. The Open Girls' team had a great win 32-5 over Tamworth High School. This is a really strong team with outstanding all round athletes. Sophie Littlejohns, Melanie Young and a host of other players were all outstanding.

The Boys' 16s team won 21-7 against Barraba/Quirindi.

The Boys Opens' team was due to play Farrer but the game was postponed.

The second week of Rugby saw the Girls' Opens and 16s team have two wins each.

The Boys' 14s White team had a bye and unfortunately the Opens Boys' team have not had a game yet as Armidale forfeited.

The Boys' 16s team made it two from two with a 26-24 win over Barraba/Quirindi again.

It was a great start to the season and I am looking forward to another successful season of Rugby Union.

Diocese Cross Country, Golf and Tennis

On Friday 11 May, twenty-nine students travelled to Gunnedah to compete in the Diocesan Cross Country, Golf, or Tennis. Many students were a little stiff and sore after the College's Athletics Carnival the day before yet put in a great effort on the day. It was a cool and windy day testing conditions for all participants. The Cross Country course was challenging with plenty hills and tough running conditions. Across the age groups, there was some outstanding results with ten students qualifying for the NSWCCC Cross Country Championships at Eastern Creek in Sydney in June.

Congratulations to Georgia Simm and Jessica Clarke who were 14 and 17+ years Age Champions. Nathan Watson finished 2nd in the Open’s division narrowly behind the winner. Several other students finished in the top six including: Oscar Newsome, Hamish Sparke, Cameron Morris, Wunda Jaffer- Williams, Augustin Monet, Clementine Monet and Tyhla Condrick. Good luck to those who travel to Sydney for the NSWCCC Cross Country Championships.

In the Tennis, McCarthy was well represented with two boys' teams and two girls' teams. The girls' teams comprised of Laura and Alyssa Jeffery, Sophie Littlejohns and Holly Supple. The girls' teams finished second against some very strong opposition. Well done to the boys' tennis team of Connor Swift, Joshua Martin, Hayden Volk, Jack Munro and Darcy Walker, who all acquitted themselves well.

There was some great play in the Golf. All students enjoyed the game and developed their skills. Congratulations to Liam Thompson who won 'nearest the pin' with a brilliant shot. Thank you to the boys who showed great etiquette around the course including Joey Jamieson, Brendan Scott and Thomas Ferguson.

Mr Brad Mitchell - Sports Coordinator

General Information

Clothing Pool

The Clothing Pool can be accessed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 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).

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 Bernie Williams

[email protected]


Year 8 Coordinator - Mr Andrew Davy

[email protected]             


Year 9 Coordinator - Mrs Melissa Bearup

[email protected]                


Year 10 Coordinator - Mrs Fiona O'Neill

[email protected]                    


Year 11 Coordinator - Mr Damian Kenniff

[email protected]                        


Year 12 Coordinator - Mrs Michelle Gale

[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
parents-night_flyer_MCC (2).pdf
Careers Expo Sites Listing A-Z.pdf
2018 Parent and Student Information Session - Tuesday 15 May.pdf