McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

09 March 2018
8 March 2018
Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal
Important Dates
Teaching and Learning
Pastoral Care
Careers News
McCarthy Environmental Council
McCarthy Parents Association
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection


Heavenly Father,

As I enter another week of my Lenten journey, guide me to the path that leads to you.

Fill my heart with gratitude, patience, strength, and peace as I strive to become the-best-version-of-myself, honestly admitting my shortcomings and sins.

As I renew my resolve each day to become a better person, let me hear your voice in the deepest reaches of my heart. Give me rest in you.

Help me to accept others, showing them your great love instead of casting judgment.

Stay with me through the busy days this week and remind me that when I need comfort, solitude, wisdom, or guidance, I can always turn to you.

Help me develop discipline and generosity through fasting and almsgiving,

and come closer to you through prayer this Lent.

In your name I pray,


Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

St Dominic, pray for us.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.


Since the third century Lent has evolved around preparation for Baptism and as such it is a good time for us to reflect on our own Baptism as the first step on our journey to becoming more fully like Christ. Lent is part of that journey, “it means accompanying Jesus who goes up to Jerusalem, the place of the fulfilment of his mystery of Passion, death and Resurrection; it reminds us that Christian life is a “way” to take,” a path to travel, “not so much consistent with a law to observe, as with the very Person of Christ, to encounter, to welcome, to follow… Dear friends, on this Lenten journey let us be careful to accept Christ’s invitation to follow him more decisively and consistently, renewing the grace and commitments of our Baptism, to cast off the former person within us and put on Christ, in order to arrive at Easter renewed and able to say, with St Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20)” (Benedict XVI General Audience Address March 9, 2011,



The McCarthy Lenten group continues to meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm, new comers are most welcome. We are midway in our almsgiving for Caritas and to date students and staff have donated $1090.00.



Our thoughts and prayer go to Grace Barnes and her family following the passing of her grandmother.

Mrs Cate Allen

Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator


Principal's Report

Leadership of Learning

I have written many times of our focus on enhancing comparative learning gain for McCarthy students. From strategies such as Learning Walks and Talks to Learning Intentions and Success Criteria our work in Catholic schools is intentionally geared to enhance and support a growth in teacher capacity to ensure that each student takes ownership of their learning and achieves to their full potential to be fully flourishing as human beings (John 10:10). That said, the Principals of the Catholic schools in the Armidale Dioceses were privileged to engage in a forum last week on Leadership of Change for improving school performance. As a Diocese on the cutting edge of educational change this worthwhile workshop reinforced and refined our work as leaders of learning and emphasised that the effort and collective efficacy of teachers, middle leaders and executive is crucial to supporting the learning growth of students. We are committed as a college and a Catholic system of schools, to excellence and constant improvement. We also look to continue to work in a learning partnership with families to support our students.



I welcome Mr Shaun Nichols to McCarthy as a suitably qualified Science teacher to replace the recently resigned, Mr Gavin Baker. Mr Nichols brings a wealth of experience both here in Australia and overseas as an educator and middle leader. Please make him feel welcome in our community.


Changes to the HSC Minimum Standard

From this year, Year 9 NAPLAN tests will no longer be an early way for students to demonstrate the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy needed to receive the HSC from 2020. This change has been made to ensure NAPLAN remains focussed on its original diagnostic purpose and reduce unnecessary stress on young people. The NSW Government remains committed to requiring a minimum standard to receive the HSC due to the importance of literacy and numeracy skills for success in everyday life. Students will show they have met the HSC minimum standard by passing online tests of basic reading, writing and numeracy skills, which are available for them to sit the when they are ready from Year 10 until a few years after Year 12.


Year 10 Students and NAPLAN 2017 Test Results 

Please be assured that if you have a child in Year 10 this year, who achieved a Band 8 or above in one or more of the 2017 Year 9 NAPLAN reading, writing or numeracy tests, they are recognised as having met the HSC minimum standard in that area/s and will not need to sit the corresponding online test/s. Minimum standard online test periods available for Year 10 students:

•Term 1: 19 February to 23 March 2018

•Term 2: 21 May to 22 June 2018

•Term 3: 13 August to 14 September 2018

•Term 4: 5 November to 7 December 2018

*Students will decide with their teacher when they are ready to attempt each test.

For more information, including sample online test questions, visit


NAPLAN Online - Years 7 and 9 from 2018

All of the Catholic Schools of the Armidale Diocese will be moving ahead with NAPLAN Online from 2018. NAPLAN Online will provide a more accurate assessment of student ability (a tailored and responsive student assessment which better diagnoses progress). Teachers will have earlier data on student performance which will enable them to better support their students’ needs.  Teachers will have this data in a more timely manner allowing them to use the data to inform their teaching. The adaptive testing has sets of questions (testlets) that affect what questions each student completes for more accurate diagnosis.


ACARA has researched test items to ensure that performance by students online is not disadvantaged compared to pen and paper tests. This does not suggest that schools will not need to prepare their students for online testing. Already at McCarthy, students have been using their Chromebooks to develop some of the test skills required (eg ‘drag and drop’ or matching activities). Students will be completing a practice test in March to further prepare them for the testing in May. Correspondence will be sent home to families in the coming days.


The following link may be helpful     NAPLAN ONLINE Frequently Asked Questions
and has been specifically developed to ensure results are comparable whether the test is completed online or on paper. Please checkout this link first and contact the College if you have any further questions.


Swimming Carnival

I commend the wonderful spirit and effort of students and staff for their participation and facilitation during the Interhouse Swimming Carnival earlier in the term. Without stealing the thunder from the sports report later in newsletter, I commend the expert planning and preparation by Mr Brad Mitchell and Mr Damian Kenniff in coordinating a very enjoyable event. Congratulations to MacKillop House on another fine win!


Open Day

An enormous thanks to all of the students and staff who contributed to a wonderful showcase of our beautiful grounds and learning facilities on Saturday. From tour guides to Band members to subject and faculty area displays, our talented students and generous staff emphasized the breadth and quality of  learning resources at McCarthy. Thank you to all involved and we look forward to welcoming the new Year 7 students in 2019.


Clean Up Australia Day

Thank you to the students and staff of the McCarthy Environmental Council for its initiative in volunteering to clean the school grounds on Friday afternoon, as well as a clean up of Tribe Street on Sunday. These initiatives aligned with the National Clean Up Australia Day which focuses on action and awareness in keeping our beautiful country clean and having pride in our school and local community. Well done!


Year 7 Excursion

The Year 7 students have recently returned from their annual camp to Forster. By all reports the students had a fabulous time and while extremely tired from their activities, they have bonded more closely as a group and forged friendships beyond those pre-existing primary school relationships. Thanks to Mr Bernie Williams and his generous band of volunteer teachers for their work in planning and supervising the camp.



We welcome Flynn Greer (Year 10) and his family to the McCarthy community.


Enrolments for Year 7 in 2019 close Monday April 9 2018

McCarthy Catholic College extends an invitation for students seeking enrolment into Year 7 in 2019. Year 7 applications will close on Monday 9 April. Fully completed application forms and the $100 application fee need to be lodged at the College on or before Monday 9 April.

Contact the Enrolment Officer, Mrs Jo O'Brien, on 6761 0802 or [email protected] for an application pack and/or more information.


Parents Association Annual General Meeting – March 20

The Annual General Meeting for the Parents Association (7:00pm) will be held on Tuesday March 20. I strongly encourage current members to stand for office bearer positions as they become available. The enormous commitment that the current executive have dedicated to their roles is to be commended. As a community McCarthy Catholic College we are indebted to the wisdom and hard work of current members. Please feel welcome to attend the Parents Association Meeting at 7:15pm in the staffroom.


School Advisory Council Meeting - March 20

A further reminder to ongoing families that School Boards are now known as School Advisory Councils (SAC). The AGM for the SAC is held each year in November. The first meeting for 2018 will be held at 5:30pm on March 20 in the Meeting Room.


Spirit of Catholic Education Awards 2018

The Spirit of Catholic Education Awards celebrate the outstanding achievement and contribution of Catholic education by staff, students and volunteers in the Diocese of Armidale. Show your appreciation by nominating someone you know for the 2018 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards. Nomination forms are available from the Catholic Schools Office website, the College office or by contacting Christine Gall [email protected] Nominations close on Friday 13 April 2018.

May God go with you.

Mr Geoff McManus


Assistant Principal

House points

Remember that all efforts to contribute to the McCarthy community are reflected in House points - participation in the Swimming Carnival, money donated to Caritas, volunteers for Clean Up McCarthy and Clean Up Australia and volunteer guides for Open Day have all earned House points. The points currently stand at:

Dominic:           324

Chisholm:         315

MacKillop:        301

Edmund Rice: 270

Mrs Sally Sparke - Assistant Principal

Important Dates


8 Mar:   Textiles Excursion to Sydney

8 Mar:    Diocesan Swimming - Moree

13 Mar:  Year 7 Vaccinations

15 Mar:  Music Workshop

16 Mar:  Bullying No Way Day

19 Mar:  HSC Agriculture Excursion

20 Mar:  Science and Engineering Challenge

20 Mar:  Advisory Council Meeting - 5:30pm

20 Mar:  Association AGM - 7:00pm

21 Mar:  Science and Engineering Challenge

23 Mar:  Diocesan Touch - Inverell

28 Mar:  Europe Meeting - 5:30pm

30 Mar:  Good Friday

2 April:   Easter Monday

5 April:   Vinnies Camp

6 April:   NSWCCC Swimming

9 April:   Warraymalaya Retreat

10 April: World War 1 History Presentation

11 April: Principals and Captains Dinner at McCarthy

11 April: Year 9 English, Year 10 Drama Shakespeare Presentation

13 April: Term 1 concludes


Teaching and Learning

HSIE news:  Year 11 Archaeological Dig

In Ancient History, Year 11 students have begun the course by studying a unit called "Investigating Ancient History – The Nature of Ancient History: The Investigation of Ancient Sites and Sources". As part of this unit, we have been looking at the roles of archaeologists, historians and scientists in enhancing our knowledge of the past.

As well as watching digs on shows like Time Team, the students formed three groups and came prepared with trowels, brushes, scrapers and toothbrushes to create grid lines in the site and excavate it. Excitement mounted as they uncovered jewellery and parts of roof tiles from an ancient Roman villa!!  They have record the location of their “finds” and details of them.

Overall our budding Indiana Jones and Lara Crofts had a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Mrs Susan Barrett -  Ancient History teacher


‘Hard Work Pays Off’– Federation Cup Debating Competition

Round 2 of the Federation Cup Debating competition took place last week as all teams met at Farrer to parry and thrust with words and rhetoric.

McCarthy’s Stage 4 and 5 teams had close but satisfying victories against the boys from Calrossy. The Stage 5 team convinced the adjudicator that voting should be mandatory while the Stage 4 team successfully argued that Australia needs a new national anthem. All speakers performed admirably but the third speaker for each of our teams – Joe Melville and Michelle Coates – were exemplary in the way they anchored their respective teams. Both Mrs Cottrell and Miss Hannan were buoyant with the team performances, Miss Hannan loudly proclaiming that ‘all of the hard work paid off’.

Our Stage 6 team had a much more daunting task – to convince the adjudicator that the value of a citizen’s vote should diminish with age. The team worked commendably to propose a workable model and then justify such a stance. They encountered a highly passionate and committed Calrossy boys team who were still smarting from their first round loss.

This week (Thursday 8 March), sees McCarthy host Round 3 where we will take on Farrer in all stages and the Calrossy boys and girls go to head to head. This will then lead to the crescendo, the finals on March 22 where there is a top and bottom tier final.

Mr Mick Larkin - English Coordinator


Food Technology

Have you ever wondered why sugar needs to be added gradually to a Pavlova base?

Do you know the functional properties of proteins in denaturing, coagulating and creating a protein foam?

Fats aerate and emulsify, and what is the Malliard Reaction? Cooking, is indeed a science!

Year 11 have been experimenting and applying their knowledge about the roles of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates in cookery during our first unit, Food Quality.

Who knew Food Science could be this yummy! 


Mrs Raelene Maxworthy - Year 11 Food Technology Teacher

Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Pastoral Care

Sisters Squared

Sisters Squared held its first two sessions for the term on Tuesday 13 and Tuesday 27 February in the Performing Arts Centre, led by Mentor Coordinator Montana Cooper-Mason. During session one, girls were provided with yummy snacks, customised diaries and provided with information booklets on self-care, helpful apps for mindfulness and a weekly planner.

During the second session, Montana led the girls in a guided meditation aimed to relax and refocus their minds. Homework was given which included writing two positive things each day in their diary, and honestly complimenting someone once per day.

Sisters Squared will continue to run every fortnight on Tuesdays in the Performing Arts Centre, at recess for Year 7 girls and at lunch time for Year 8 girls.

Brother to Brother

Brother to Brother commenced on Tuesday 20 February which was led by Year 12 students Matthew O’Toole and Montana Cooper-Mason. This will run every fortnight in the Performing Arts Centre at lunch time and all boys in Year 7 are welcome to attend.

Mrs Aimee Cook


NSW School Vaccination Program

All Year 7 students should have received their vaccination information kit. Please read the information carefully, sign and return to school if you are happy for your child to take part in the program.  Students will receive  Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (dTpa) vaccines.  Vaccinations will take place at school on Tuesday 13 March. 

Mrs Libby Molony - Pastoral Care Coordinator

Careers News

Careers Chats and Cookies on Mondays
Got a question or two about careers or courses?
Come on your own or with a friend. Cookies supplied :)  


University Roadshow

Last week, Year 12 students were able to begin the process of finding out what they need to know this year if they are applying to attend University in the future. Representatives from the University of New England (UNE), Southern Cross University (SCU)  and Charles Sturt University (CSU) visited McCarthy to provide a presentation, resources and answer questions. They provided an overview of what happens, key dates and the application process as well as a lot of information on courses, accommodation and costs.


The Footnotes - Guest Speaker Friday 9 March

On Friday this week at Recess there will be presentation by Sarah from The Footnotes to help undecided students with career advice and where to find information from people who have done courses students may be interested in doing and a lot more.

Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 are invited to attend and to complete this survey BEFORE attending:  

Mrs Susan Barrett - Careers Adviser

Email: [email protected]


Concert Band


Jazz Band

Our school bands performed admirably at the McCarthy Open Day.

McCarthy Environmental Council

Clean Up Australia Day

The Environmental Council’s participation in the national Clean Up Australia Day event on both Friday 2 and Sunday 4 March was a huge success, with people from all years donating their time and effort to begin our war on waste.

Friday saw sunshine and heat, but that did not deter over thirty students clearing the green areas of the school, including gardens and walkways, of litter. We were then able to show our best face at Saturday’s Open Day.

Sunday had the threat of storms, but the clouds kept at bay and allowed for a great turnout with seven bags of rubbish being collected from our local Tribe Street and surrounding areas.

Keep tabs with the Environmental Council for updates on our war on waste!

Isobelle Sullivan - McCarthy Environmental Council



Swimming Carnival

The annual McCarthy Catholic College Swimming Carnival was held on Thursday 22 February at Scully Park Pool. Thank you to Mr Williams, Mr Kenniff and Year 12 SLR students who assisted in the set up of the carnival. I congratulate the students for their efforts especially the Year 12 cohort who ensured their last carnival at the College was a memorable one. Their enthusiasm, team spirit, costumes and high participation levels are to be applauded.

Congratulations to the following students who were named Age Champions:


12 years - Abigail Taggart

13 years - Savannah Barber

14 years - Clementine Monet

15 years - Daisy George

16 years - Billie Mitchell

17+ years - Molly Johns



13 years - Campbell Thompson

14 years - Will George

15 years - Tully Munro

16 years - Hamish Sparke

17+ years - Connor Roberts


Congratulations to MacKillop who once again were champion House.

House results were as follows:

MacKillop: 815 points

Edmund Rice: 687 points

Dominic - 570 points

Chisholm - 426 points


Diocesan Swimming Carnival

The Diocesan Swimming Trials will be held on Thursday 8 March (today) in Moree. We wish our competitors well at these trials. Successful students from the Diocesan Trials will be eligible to compete in the NSWCCC Swimming Championships at Homebush on Friday 6 April.

Mr Brad Mitchell and Mr Damian Kenniff - Sports Coordinators

Water Polo - Boys

The McCarthy boys' water polo team is currently leading the competition, solidifying this with a 7 - 1 win against Farrer on Tuesday night. Well done boys!

Miss Kara Spicer

Girls Hockey

Any girl who is interested in playing hockey for McCarthy in 2018 is asked to email Mr Geoff Denton [[email protected]] as soon as possible (if they haven't already done so).

McCarthy Parents Association


The Annual General Meeting of the McCarthy Association will be held on Tuesday 20 March commencing at 7:00pm.

General Information

Clothing Pool

The Clothing Pool can be accessed on Wednesdays between 8:00am and 10:00am 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
SOCEA 2018.pdf
University Road Show.pdf
Safer Drivers Course.pdf
The Footnotes visit_2018.pdf
Lent Menu MCC Canteen 2018 (1).docx