McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

22 March 2018
22 March 2018
Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Important Dates
Teaching and Learning
Pastoral Care
Careers News
Year 7 Camp
McCarthy Parents Association
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection

Year of Youth Prayer

Come Holy Spirit of this Great Southland

Inspire our entire faith community,

as we prayerfully discern new horizons for spreading joy

in the lives and communities of the People of God.

Come Holy Spirit of Youth

Fill the hearts of young people with the hope and love of Jesus Christ;

enliven our community with the creativity, energy and joy of youth;

guide us together, as we strive to offer God's mercy

to those who feel abandoned or outcast.

Come Holy Spirit of Faith

Empower our community to be courageous;

unite your people as witnesses of love.

Walk with us, as we blaze new trails of discipleship;

accompanying young people as we renew the Church together.

Come Holy Spirit of Vocation

Stir within young people an awareness of God's call;

reveal to us the graces of young people;

guide us all, in finding our place and raising our voices

to build a civilisation of love.


Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

St Dominic, pray for us.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.


Year of Youth

On Wednesday 7 March, we launched the Year of Youth at McCarthy in response to the launch of the Year of Youth by the Australian Catholic Bishops in December 2017. It is to be a year dedicated to discussion with young people about their importance both in and to the Church. At our Assembly the students received a prayer memento of the Year of Youth featuring the official prayer for the Year of Youth (see above) and Amunda Gorey’s artwork, ‘Christ Our Joy’ commissioned by our Australian bishops. ‘Christ Our Joy’ features Jesus as the central figure with one arm pointing toward God and the other outstretched towards his mother Mary and to the Church. The title captures the main theme of the Year of Youth as one devoted to helping our young members of the Church “open new horizons for spreading joy” (Pope Francis). During the year, McCarthy students will participate in a number of activities and initiatives as part of the Year of Youth.

For more information on the Year of Youth visit



Our thoughts and prayer go to Jack Byron and his family following the passing of his grandmother.

Mrs Cate Allen

Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator


Principal's Report

Easter Message

As the last opportunity to write before the short Easter break it is important to pause in our busy, distracted lives and note the significance of our Lenten journey over the past term as we move towards Easter and Jesus' ultimate act of sacrifice on the cross.

As Jesus’ life serves as a model for discipleship, reflecting on that life story from the scriptures bears witness in the coming days.  Before Jesus began his public ministry he was drawn by the Spirit into the desert for forty days and nights to fast, to pray and to give himself over completely to God.  Each year the Church invites us into the desert of the season of Lent to fast, to pray and to give alms (a symbol of our desire to give ourselves over completely to God).  Do we dare to imitate the Lord Jesus by going into the desert this Lent?
The call to fast, to pray, and to give alms is an invitation to conversion—to embrace the grace of God that seeks to take root in us and transform us ever more deeply into his holy people.
One fallacy of our Lenten practice as Catholics is the idea that Lenten practices are simply meant to be temporary.  I “give up” chocolate for Lent only to indulge evermore deeply in my life as a chocaholic once Easter dawns. Or I will spend more time with the Lord in prayer during Lent, only to return to my normal pattern of relationship with God once the forty days are over.  While the specifics of a practice may not always continue after the Lenten season is over, the effects of conversion are meant to live in us. We are called to be made new by the Lord’s love manifested for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus, his Son.
So, this Lent, what is the conversion that the Lord desires for you?
Is it possible that God is inviting you to a radical practice—a new habit of life—that he desires will always be part and parcel of your life?
Maybe you do not attend Mass each and every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation.
Is God inviting you to live in thanksgiving by celebrating and receiving the Eucharist each and every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation?
Maybe you play video games for hours on end each day.
Is God calling you to fast from gaming and to spend more quality time in studies—the “work” that he has entrusted to you at this point in your life?
Maybe you eat or drink more than is healthy for you or you seldom exercise.
Is God calling you to fast from food or drink or to exercise so as to take care of your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit?
Maybe you spend time in prayer with God, but it lacks something.
Is God calling you to explore new ways of praying with scripture? Or simply to sit in deep honesty with him in prayer?
Maybe you find yourself being critical and judgmental of others.
Is God calling you to fast from gossip and to speak with compassion instead of malice?
The Church invites us to enter into the desert each Lent in imitation of Jesus, who fasted for forty days and forty nights and who found in God’s word the strength to resist evil in all its forms and to live in total obedience to his Father’s will.  

The call at the start of Lent was to “Reform our lives and be faithful to the Gospel.” As we near Easter what ‘new habit’ has God called you to ‘do’ in your life after Easter?

Enjoy the short break with family and friends. The 2018 Good Friday and Easter Mass schedules are available on the parish websites. I encourage all families to take their children to Easter services as a sign of our collective commitment as a practising faith community.


McCarthy Parents Association Annual General Meeting – March 20

The Annual General Meeting for the McCarthy Parents Association was held on Tuesday night. I congratulate the following members who were elected as office bearers for 2018.

President: Mrs Kim Pearson
Vice President: Mrs Jacqueline Fulwood
Vice President: Mrs Maree Betts
Treasurer: Ms Kylie Evans
Secretary: Mrs Carol Reed
Committee Members: Mrs Maria Creigh, Mrs Wendy Lee, Mr Grant Lee and Mrs Lesa Sellers


As a community McCarthy Catholic College we are indebted to the wisdom and hard work of these and current members. Please feel welcome to attend the Parents Association Meeting at 7:15pm in the staff room on the third Tuesday of each month in term time.



We welcome John Felias (Year 7) 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.


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.

$100 Active Kids Rebate

Every student from Kindergarten to Year 12 is eligible for a $100 voucher to be put towards sport registration and membership fees. The program is not means tested and will be available each year for four years. For further information log on to

May God go with you.

Mr Geoff McManus


Important Dates


23 Mar:  Diocesan Touch - Inverell

23 Mar:  Jazz Band to Harmony Day celebrations

23 Mar:  Girls' Night In - 5:00pm

26 Mar:  Year 10 Visual Arts Excursion

27 Mar:  Chrism Mass - Armidale

28 Mar:  Earth Hour

28 Mar:  Europe Meeting - 5:30pm

29 Mar:  League Tag - Tamworth

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

14 April:  Europe Excursion departs

30 April:  Pupil Free Day

1 May:     Term 2 commences

8 May:     ICAS Digital Technologies

8 May:    Spiritual Formation Retreat 

9 May:     Year 12 Parent/Teacher Interviews

10 May:   Athletics Carnival

11 May:   UNE Open Day


Teaching and Learning


‘Engagement’ is a word growing in popularity in education. Formal definitions of the word describe it in a number of ways. Traditionally, we think of engagement as agreeing to either get married, do something or go somewhere. The action of engaging or being engaged in a school sense would be best described using synonyms such as commitment, participation and association. Researchers differentiate between teacher engagement, student engagement and there is also a field of study on the effects of parent engagement.

At McCarthy, we continue to utilise a wide range of research and this week I thought it timely to unpack what exactly the research says about the impact of parental  involvement in learning and how it applies to the families in our McCarthy community. Many parents ask the question, ‘What can I do to help my child and how do I do that?’ The research might surprise you.

Hundreds of research studies have been undertaken in recent years to determine the effectiveness of parental involvement on student learning. Hattie (2009) a highly respected educator, undertook an extensive meta-analysis of educational research into the size of effects on student achievement. In using this ‘measure’ he was able to compare the effectiveness of strategies, interventions and approaches on student achievement. Everything works, but what works best?

Significantly, the highest effect sizes regarding parental involvement occur when parents have high expectations for the learning and achievement of their children and when they take a more active approach to learning (d = 0.58). There are however, negative effects when parents’ involvement includes a ‘surveillance approach’ or micromanagement.

Overall, parental involvement has an effect size - on average - of d = 0.51.


Maximum impact comes from those activities that achieve above d = 0.4


Parental involvement in learning                                                                Effect size (d)

Homework supervision                                                                                        0.19

Participation in school activities                                                                      0.14

Communication with school and teachers                                                  0.14

Parent training                                                                                                         0.15

Parent listening to student reading                                                                0.51

Parent reading to the child (K-3)                                                                      0.18 

High expectations for student achievement (and verbalising            0.58

these to the student)                                                                       

* d = 0.15  indicates the normal student developmental effects on student learning in any single year for any student who did not go to school.

d = 0.4 to indicate the effects that an average teacher would make on student learning in one year. Maximum impact comes from those activities that achieve above d = 0.4

d = 1.0 would indicate the effectiveness of any strategy that advances children’s achievement by 2 – 3 years.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York


Having high expectations of students, helps students have high expectations of themselves. There are many non time consuming ways parents can be engaged have high expectations:

  • Speaking of positive education experiences over dinner and verbalising the expectation to focus on learning.

  • Respecting the rights of all students to learn and expecting this from your child.

  • Expecting students to strive for suitably challenging goals and celebrating the steps towards achieving those goals.

  • Supporting the work of the teachers and the school through respectful dialogue.

  • Listening to your child read their drafts or assignments out loud.

  • Expecting and supporting high attendance rates.

  • Reinforcing positive learning behaviours such as prioritising school, switching off the phone and limiting work hours to the recommended 8 hours per week.

Staff at McCarthy are utilising the work of Dr Lyn Sharratt and engaging in learning walks and talks as a way to engage in productive learning centred conversations with our students, which involve asking students key questions:

  1. What are you learning?

  2. How are you doing?

  3. How do you know?

  4. How can you improve?

  5. Where do you go for help?                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Lyn Sharratt Learning Walks and Talks Training Materials, 2008-2015)

These are just some of the ways we can be engaged and have mutual high expectations throughout 2018 and beyond.




Mrs Raelene Maxworthy - Teaching and Learning Coordinator


‘A Clean Sweep’ – Federation Cup Debating

Round 3 of Federation Cup Debating was hosted by McCarthy Catholic College in what proved to be a tense and highly competitive series of debates with students growing in confidence as a result of regular competition.

McCarthy had a triumphant evening with all three teams successful against Farrer. This was a particularly satisfying outcome for the Stage 6 team who upset the previously undefeated Farrer team. They convinced the adjudicator that we should fear the development of artificial intelligence while the Stage 5 team presented a compelling case that Australian parents should be able to choose the gender of their children. Likewise, our Stage 4 team effectively argued that a mission to Mars is a waste of money.

The competition reaches its climax Thursday 22 March (tonight) where the champion school will be awarded the Federation Cup. All three McCarthy teams are through to the top tier final, the first school to achieve this feat, giving us an excellent chance to secure the spoils for the third time in the competition's five year history. Miss Hannan has triumphantly declared that it will be a “clean sweep”.

Mr Michael Larkin - English Coordinator

Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Pastoral Care

Bullying No Way Day

Bullying No Way! Day was held on March 16 and both staff and students were enthusiastic in showing their support and standing up against bullying. Students gathered at lunch time to listen to talented students singing, promote belonging with a giant jenga game provided by Headspace and valuable resources and freebies were provided. Students wrote down their keys to a good friendship, which included responses such as communication, honesty, talking to each other and trust. The theme of the day was promoting friendship, resilience, reaching out and looking out for each other. Remember, speak even if your voice shakes!

Mrs Aimee Cook


Mrs Libby Molony - Pastoral Care Coordinator

Careers News

The last few weeks have been busy with several events taking place and providing our students with the opportunity to find out about a range of career-related matters.


Health Careers Forum 6 March

Over twenty McCarthy Year 12 students were among the hundreds of students from Tamworth and surrounding towns to attend this event at the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health in Tamworth.  Students gained an insight into a range of medical and allied health careers which also included being able to attend several hands-on workshops.


The Footnotes - Guest Speakers Sarah and Sam

On Friday 9 March, over twenty students from Years 10-12 heard about ways to find information on courses and careers from those who are studying or working in these areas. Also advice was given on what is important when making choices for life after school.

St Leo's College at UQ in Brisbane

The school welcomed Steve Foley from St Leo's on Friday 16 March. Steve spoke to a small group of interested students about accommodation available to students who wish to study at the University of Queensland. 

Zoo Work Experience

Two Year 12 girls were fortunate to make successful applications to do a week's work experience at NSW zoos.  Only one applicant's name can be forwarded by the school to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo and one name to Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Georgia Achurch attended Western Plains Zoo last week and Hope Taylor will go to Sydney shortly.

Applications for 2019 will be advertised early in Term 4 for interested students to apply.

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 :)  


Mrs Susan Barrett - Careers Adviser

Email: [email protected]


Samba Experience Drumming Workshop

On Thursday 15 March, Year 9 and 10 elective Music students attended a drumming workshop in the Rosary Centre. “Tom the Pom” entertained them with his jokes and engaging personality. He also taught them how they could all be drummers and make a living by just counting to 4! It is amazing how hard it actually is to master samba rhythms. Students rotated through all the drums and percussion instruments and learnt a variety of things.

Mrs Lisa Lane - Music teacher


Year 7 Camp

Year 7 Excursion to Forster

The Forster excursion was a great team building and bonding experience. It was a good time to get to know each other and make new friends in a fun and exciting setting.

The Adventure Camp had many activities including the giant swing, water slides and high ropes.  With early morning starts, we worked our way through the jam packed days with enthusiasm and excitement. Many of us overcame fears and worries with the help of our instructors, team leaders and teachers who always pushed us to our limits with slushie bribery and hilarious attempts at the activities. Most of the students agreed that the best activities were the water slide and zipline, the fast pace and high altitudes made it all the better.

The food was good but when the teachers' food was served, our mouths watered and our jaws dropped. Supper was by far the best and the meal we most looked forward to. Our sweet tooths were properly satisfied with our nightly chocolate milk and cookies. Our large stashes of lollies kept our hunger and tiredness at bay.

We played commando. We had to walk approximately 2 km from our cabins into the forest. There were 'hostages' that had to hide from the others who worked hard to find them. The teachers were tailing us and if we got caught they took a 'token' off us. We had to go back and collect another 'token' from the instructors after telling them a joke.

The nights in our cabins were great fun as we joked around until we got tired. It was one of the best parts of the excursion. We didn't even need our phones because you had the comfort of your friends.

Sophie Hardy, Lucy McMullen, Cameron Smith and Bradyn Hamilton



Diocesan Swimming Carnival

On Thursday 8 March, twenty-two students from McCarthy Catholic College attended the Diocese Swimming trials at Moree. A big thank you to all the parents who took time off work to bring their children to the carnival and support them on the day. There were some excellent results especially from Molly Johns who was the Girls' 17 years Age Champion. There was some other great results and strong swimming performances from a number of students who tried their hearts out and represented the school with pride and distinction. Congratulations to the following students who qualified for the NSW CCC Swimming Championships in Homebush on Friday 6 April 2018:

Clementine Monet, Miller Lloyd, Amber Mitchell, Molly Johns, Hamish Sparke and Lyndell Boschma. A reminder to these students to register for these championships on the NSW CCC website following the instructions outlined on the sports google classroom page. Well done and any questions please see Mr Mitchell.


Diocese Rugby League Trials

On Wednesday 14 March, nine players from McCarthy Catholic College were involved in the Under 15 Diocese Rugby League trials at North Tamworth Oval. The trials were played in warm conditions with two squads of players from schools in the Armidale Diocese. The game was a high quality, tough contest with some very talented and skilled players on both teams. Thanks to Tomas Davison, Jack Daye, Noah Taaffe, Bailey Jameson, Max Smith, William Lake, Liam Nicholson, Miller Lloyd, Reef Lawler and Clint Aitken who participated in the trials. All players gave a good account of themselves and played well. Congratulations to Clint Aitken and Reef Lawler who were selected in the Under 15 Armidale Diocese Rugby League team who will compete in the Northern Country Trials at South West Rocks on 11 April.

Mr Brad Mitchell and Mr Damian Kenniff - Sports Coordinators

Water Polo

Last week was Semi Finals Week for our three McCarthy water polo teams. Two of our teams were playing for a spot in the Grand Final and one team for a spot in the Final.

The McCarthy C Grade girls played their game one player short but were able to secure a victory and make it through to the final to play off for third place in the competition.

The McCarthy A Grade girls played against the Women's A Grade side who had proved to be a formidable opponent in earlier games. The girls played a full game with no subs, a tremendous effort from all of them. Special mention to Ella Mitchell who took a heavy hit early in the game but played through the pain, saving many goals. Our girls were able to triumph and are also proceeding through to the Grand Final.

The A Grade boys played against Farrer, a team who had proved to be a challenging opponent in the past. The game was quite close throughout the first half of the game, with each team scoring goal for goal. However, the McCarthy Boys were able to secure a win and therefore be our third and final team to make it straight through to the Grand Final.

Well done to all our teams!!

Miss Kara Spicer


Amber Witney has been selected in the NSW U15 Hockey team to contest the Australian U15 championships in Wollongong during the April school holidays.

Maeve Galvin has been selected in the NSW U15 Blues Hockey team to compete at the same national championships.

Nicholas O’Connor has also been selected in the NSW U15 Boys' Hockey team to compete at the Australian Championships in Wollongong.

Congratulations to all and good luck during the tournament.

McCarthy Parents Association

Annual General Meeting

The following office bearers were elected from Tuesday's AGM:

President: Mrs Kim Pearson
Vice President: Mrs Jacqueline Fulwood
Vice President: Mrs Maree Betts
Treasurer: Ms Kylie Evans
Secretary: Mrs Carol Reed
Committee Members: Mrs Maria Creigh, Mrs Wendy Lee, Mr Grant Lee and Mrs Lesa Sellers

Mrs Laura Hughes has ‘retired’ as Treasurer after approx 14 years at McCarthy. A huge thank you to Laura for all her hard work and contribution over the years. We wish her all the best.



The next Association Meeting will be held on Tuesday 15 May. All are most welcome to attend.

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
Active Kids Rebate.pdf
Active Kids Rebate.pdf
The Footnotes visit_2018.pdf