Welcome everyone to what promises to be an exciting year of learning at McCarthy Catholic College. In the first few days we have welcomed many new students and staff to our community, as well as refreshing our learning relationships with ongoing students. We have been heartened by the enthusiastic way in which classes have begun with an attitude that is ‘fair dinkum’! As I have said many times before, what happens in the classroom is never about the final result. It is always about the attitude and the effort that precedes that result. If a student brings a ‘fair dinkum’ attitude (on time, prepared with correct materials, and ready to learn) to the classroom, there will be growth in learning. Consequently, when these early days of the year begin with that type of positive attitude it is important to highlight and encourage it.
The 2019 Annual Improvement Plan has three clear goals to promote excellence in education in a community which supports students and staff to flourish. As with most strategic language in education and business the ‘jargon’ can be a bit confusing at times. Nonetheless, the goals listed below mean a lot to the leaders and staff of McCarthy with regard to enhancing the learning of our students.
Goal 1: by the end of 2019 evaluate, design and begin to implement staff and student faith formation opportunities.
Goal 2: by the end of 2019 we will have commenced the implementation of a contemporary whole College approach to positive relationships that support learning.
Goal 3: by the end of 2019 we will commence strategic implementation of contemporary processes and strategies for teachers to effectively collaborate.
In short, we are aiming to:
1. Improve practical opportunities to grow closer to our God.
2. Improve learning relationships in the classroom between students and teachers.
3. Enhance collaborative opportunities for teachers.
In a contemporary world, where education is now more about how we learn rather than what we learn, we believe our work behind the scenes with staff will continue to enhance the outcomes of students.
Without repeating the full content of Mr Larkin’s letter to families regarding the College uniform that was sent last week, and with the support and leadership of the 2019 Year 12 students, we are taking consistent steps to ensure our uniform standards are maintained to a high level. Please help your child present themselves well by purchasing the correct uniforms from Lowes or visit our Clothing Pool which has quality second-hand items available. If families are experiencing adverse economic or private circumstances, please contact a Leader of Student Care, Mrs Stuart or Mr Larkin confidentially, so we can work out a respectful way to ensure compliance with the uniform code. I especially note the better structures that have been put in place regarding the minimal wearing of the Sports Uniform. Note too, that all students other than Year 11 and 12 must have the new style of Sports Shirt and Shorts (with MCC embroidery) by the end of this first term please.
The College community congratulates the Class of 2018 on their outstanding HSC results. Our hard working students achieved 13 Band 6s. The Dux, Isobelle Sullivan, is the recipient of the Sr Patricia Rowe Award for Dux 2018 with an ATAR of 94. Isobelle will receive her award in front of the College community in a few weeks time. We all look forward to hearing her address to the students to set an aspirational tone for our dedicated students.
I welcome the following new staff to the College for 2019:
Mrs Deanne Battistuzzi (English), Mrs Heather Burke (English), Mr Jonathan Dean (Maths), Mrs Melissa Gamble (Agriculture), Mrs Julie Hodges (TAS), Mr Wade Leu (Science), Mrs Wendy Rheinberger (Student Support), Mr Tom Rindo (IT Support), Miss Millie Woolaston (PDHPE).
We also welcome the following staff on various contracts for absent staff - Mrs Wendy Bowden (for Mrs Kellahan), Mr Ryan Saban (for Mrs Deacon) and Mr Daniel McDonald (for Mr Chittick).
We congratulate Mr Ryan Saban on the announcement of his recent engagement to Anika.
2019 Role Changes
As I stated at the Awards Night ceremony late last year, contemporary education settings are nothing like the old paradigm where fear ruled and automatic respect for parents, teachers and Principals were a given. The modern educational paradigm, particularly for school leaders and middle leaders, demands a different skill set built on world leading professional standards for teachers and Principals. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that as an organisation committed to excellence, we choose to move boldly into that brave new world of contemporary educational leadership. We have brought on board a second Assistant Principal in Mr Michael Larkin and restructured the active role statements and duties of the entire Leadership Team. Coordinators have received new role statements and new titles (Leaders of Learning) focusing on the leadership of learning and Year Level Coordinators are getting an increase in allowance and a change of role title to Leaders of Student Care that will allow them more time to support case management of students with pastoral needs. The clear intent of these changes is one of effective leadership of learning and clear lines of active support for teachers in the classroom based on proven evidence and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
While most of the staff names are familiar to ongoing families, the leadership titles are reflective of a current and future change in practice that will more directly facilitate the support of teachers to enhance student outcomes.
In practical terms for parents and carers, if there is a subject related issue please contact the individual teacher or the Leader of Learning. If there is a more global concern that involves a mixture of pastoral and academic issues please contact the Leader of Student Care. For any other matters contact our Administration Staff who will put you in contact with the appropriate Leadership Team member.
McCarthy Leadership Team for 2019
Principal: Mr Geoff McManus
Assistant Principal - Curriculum: Mrs Sally Sparke
Assistant Principal - Pastoral Care: Mr Mick Larkin
Leader of Mission, Spiritual Formation and Religious Education: Mrs Cate Allen
Leader of Teaching and Learning: Mrs Raelene Maxworthy
Leader of Student Wellbeing: Mrs Sharon Stuart
Leader of Pedagogy: Mrs Briony Martin
Leaders of Student Care:
Year 7: Mrs Melissa Bearup [email protected]
Year 8: Mr Bernie Williams [email protected]
Year 9: Mr Andrew Davy [email protected]
Year 10: Mrs Michelle Gale [email protected]
Year 11: Mrs Fiona O’Neill [email protected]
Year 12: Mr Damian Kenniff [email protected]
Leaders of Learning:
Religious Education: Mrs Cate Allen [email protected]
English: Mrs Heather Burke [email protected]
Mathematics: Mr Tim Godden [email protected]
Science: Mr James Vella [email protected]
HSIE: Mrs Louise Vella [email protected]
TAS: Ms Suzanne Day [email protected]
PDHPE: Mrs Ashleigh Jones [email protected]
Creative Arts and Languages: Mrs Deborah Fulwood [email protected]
I would like to extend a warm welcome to Year 7 students and the following new students:
Year 8: Teleah Brown, Connor Budden, Zac Gripske, Trang (Sophia) Vu
Year 9: Jessica Cox, Travis Dalton, Madeleine Groth, Madison Hardy, Logan Hughes, Taylah McCarthy
Year 10: Georgia De Bonis, Megan Ras, Lochlan Alleyn
Year 11: Van (Kaity) Vu, Brian Webb.
Welcome also to families who are joining the McCarthy community. We look forward to meeting you and working with you.
Mobile Phone Policy
Please note that there is a separate letter being sent out via email this week to all families explaining our current policy and a suggestion for the future. Please consider this complex situation and be prepared to respond to a staff and parent/carer survey later in the term that will seek community opinion about maintaining the current policy or making the proposed changes or even considering other ideas. As always I am happy to take feedback. We intend to run Information Nights in Stage groupings later in the term, at which you could speak with me or you may like to write to me via email or ‘snail-mail’. Thank you in anticipation for taking the time to consider this challenging societal issue. I look forward to gathering your feedback and opinions prior to final resolutions being made.
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)
Administration Email Address
The next meeting for the McCarthy Parent Association will be held on Tuesday 19 February commencing at 7:15pm in the Staff Room. I encourage all parents and guardians to attend and give valuable input to fundraising and social gatherings. The current members are a welcoming and hard working bunch who always enjoy meeting new parents. The first opportunity to actively support the College will require parent support of our College Open Day on March 9 by serving light refreshments for our visitors. Please feel welcome to join in!
Twilight Swimming Carnival and Day in Lieu
The upcoming Twilight Swimming Carnival, being held at Scully Park Pool from 2:30pm – 7:30pm on Thursday 28 February, presents an ideal opportunity for students to contribute to the growth of College and House spirit. While elite swimmers are given the opportunity to shine in front of their peers, other students receive the intrinsic reward of contributing to their House team by participation. I commend this opportunity as a rare time during the school year when students can enjoy a casual and spirit-filled afternoon and evening of fun and camaraderie with their peers. As the College allows for the extra commitment of the twilight event to be repaid with a student-free day the next day, I encourage all students to attend and enjoy a wonderful community event. I know that our 2019 Year 12 students are setting the bar high to increase attendance with the introduction of some alternate novelty games.
Please note: there will be no supervision available at the College after 2:00pm on Thursday. The following day, Friday 1 March, will be a non-school day. The College will not be open on that day.
Year 7 Welcome Barbeque
The McCarthy staff warmly invites Year 7 students and their families to a Welcome Barbeque at the College on Monday 11 February from 5:30pm – 7:00pm. It is a casual event that enables parents to meet some of the teachers who will be working with their children this year. A letter was sent home this week.
Enrolments for Year 7 in 2020 close Monday April 8 2019
McCarthy Catholic College extends an invitation for students seeking enrolment into Year 7 in 2020. The only round of Year 7 applications for this year will close on Monday 8 April. Fully completed application forms and the $100 application fee need to be lodged at the College on or before Monday 8 April. The College Open Day will be held on Saturday 9 March from 10:00am until 1:00pm.
Please contact the Enrolment Officer, Mrs Jo O'Brien, on 6761 0802 or [email protected] for an application pack and/or more information.
School hours are from 8:45am until 3:00pm.
The playground will be supervised from 8:30am and until the last bus leaves in the afternoon. Before school, students are to congregate in the quadrangles outside the College Hall or Library. After school, early bus travellers meet in the bus waiting area.
Pedestrian Entry and Exit
Students who walk to or from the College must use either the Children’s Crossing in Tribe Street or the designated section of Johnston Street at the end of the oval.
Pick Up and Drop Off Areas
Please read the attached letter regarding this serious safety message.
Government regulations require that schools document all student absences with reasons eg. illness, approved leave etc. Please provide the College with an explanation of your child’s absence within seven days by way of a letter upon their return or a phone call (phone: 6761 0801) on the day of their absence. Follow-up text messages will be forwarded to parents/guardians seeking explanation if this has not been provided. It is very important that students attend Mentor Group for roll marking or sign in via the College office if they are late to school (after 8:45am). If a response to the text has not been received within seven days, the absence will remain as unexplained and will NOT be able to be changed. Alternatively you can email absentees to lj[email protected] or via the Skoolbag App.
Attendances - Leave
As per government requirements, if a student is going to be absent from school for five days or more for a sporting/extra-curricular activity, an 'Application for Exemption from Attendance' form must to be completed and returned to the College office before the event. For all other leave of ten days or more, an “Application for Leave” form must be completed and returned prior to the leave taking place. These forms are also available from the College office.
If someone other than a parent is collecting and signing a student out from the College, a written note or email is required from the responsible parent/carer. Please address notes or emails to the Attendance Officer, Mrs Leah Jones [email protected]
Students Late for School
The bell for the beginning of school goes at 8:45am. Students who arrive after this time are required to complete an entry in the late book in the College office. Parents need to bring late students to the College office and sign them in or provide the student with a note.
Parents are required to sign students out when they leave the College before the normal finishing time of 3:00pm. This also applies if the student is returning to the College later in the day.
Illness at School
Students are reminded that if they fall ill at school, they are to inform their teacher and report to the office where the Sick Bay is located. Office staff will assess students and contact parents if necessary. Students are asked NOT to phone their parents or vice-versa on their mobile phones as this is the legal responsibility of the College.
The College office is open from 7:30am until 4:00pm. Student access to the office is restricted to before school, recess, lunchtime and after school.
The McCarthy iNewsletter is published each fortnight. It is emailed to students and parents on Thursday, Day 9, of the timetable. The iNewsletter is also available on the McCarthy website, the College Facebook page and the Skoolbag app.
No medication will be given to a child without the written permission of a parent/guardian. All medication must be clearly labelled with all relevant information provided by parent/guardian. Students are expected to present themselves at the College office at the appropriate time for distribution of their medication.
Students have been issued with a locker and combination lock. Students are NOT to move allocated lockers.
The College strongly recommends that students do not bring valuables or large amounts of money to school. Any money brought to school e.g. for excursions etc, should be handed in at the College office as soon as the student arrives at school. The College accepts no responsibility for the loss or damage of valuables.
It is expected that students wear the correct uniform at all times. If at any time a student is unable to wear the correct uniform, they are to have an explanation note signed by a parent. This issue noted should be addressed as a matter of urgency. A list of uniform requirements is available from the College office or on the College website. For further details see attachment.
Students in Years 8 and 9 will have practical Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) lessons on Tuesday Week A (the odd weeks of the term) and Years 7 and 10 PDHPE lessons on Tuesday Week B (the even weeks of the term) where they are permitted to wear their sports uniform to school. Sports uniforms may NOT be worn on other days.
The Clothing Pool operates Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00am – 8:30am. The Clothing Pool is located at the southern end of M Block. It can be accessed by parking in the bottom carpark (just above the oval) and walking up the stairs and to the left.
Lost property is retained in the College office and disposed of at the end of the Term. Parents are asked to ensure that their child’s uniform and possessions are labelled clearly.
The College canteen complies with state and federal healthy food regulations. It is open five days a week at recess, lunchtime and immediately after school. Lunch orders are to be filled in at the canteen before school or via the new Qkr! app before 9:30am.
McCarthy Facebook Page and Skoolbag Mobile App
The official McCarthy Catholic College Facebook page keeps our College community informed of current information and events.
Please like our page to ensure you receive up to date information.
The McCarthy Skoolbag App is another option for the McCarthy community to receive newsletters, update personal information, receive urgent alerts, notify the College of absentees as well as view the College calendar.
QKR! is our preferred method of payment at the College. Please find attached instructions on how to install the QKR! App to enable payment of school fees, excursions, sporting events etc.
The Student Mailbox is located outside the student reception area for depositing notes etc. that DO NOT contain cash. If students are paying the College by cash, they MUST hand it in to the Finance Office directly either before/after school, at recess or lunch.
Please ensure that the College office has your correct email address as we use email as our major source of communication.
Change of Student and Parent Details
It is imperative that the College 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.
Media Consent Form
For any parents wishing to update the Media Consent Form their child, please complete the attached form and return to the College Office.
Mr Geoff McManus - Principal