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 www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/HSCminimumstandard
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.
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.
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!
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 Finn 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 www.arm.catholic.edu.au, the College office or by contacting Christine Gall [email protected] Nominations close on Friday 13 April 2018.