Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 1 Week 3 - 16 February 2018

Principal's Blog

It has been an eventful and exciting fortnight for Magdalene. Various special occasions the School has been involved in include our Opening Mass, our High Achievers’ Assembly, Year 7 Bootcamp, Year 11 Information Evening, an ACYF Reconnector, the Diocesan CARITAS Launch, an Ash Wednesday Liturgy, our first P & F meeting, our annual Swimming Carnival (see our next Newsletter for details) and a number of our staff and students have been involved in farewelling our current Bishop, Peter Ingham.

Bishop Peter Ingham Farewell. Mr McMahon, Matthew Hamshere (Yr 11), Georgia Myers (Yr 11), Nathan Sechney (Yr 8), Mrs Rixon, Bishop Peter, Maddison Saysanavongpheth (Yr 12), Mr O'Neill, Andrew Rixon (Yr 9), Frank Stillitano (Yr 8), Laila Searle (Yr 9), Erin Radl (Yr 10), Kyna Kelly (Yr 8).

Last Friday, student representatives attended a moving liturgy in Dapto (see photo) to honour this amazing man. Our diocese has been incredibly fortunate to have this humble, deeply spiritual and very personable Bishop for over 16 years. Bishop Peter has been involved in so many of our secondary and/or parish events including various sacraments each year. Indeed, we are very grateful for all he has done. Congratulations to Maddy Saysanavongpeth for leading the congregation in the official welcome to open the liturgy and I thank Mr Steve O’Neill and Mrs Rixon for taking our nine students from various year groups to the event. All of our students were wonderful representatives for Magdalene.

Four students and Mr Collins also represented the school at the CARITAS launch of Project Compassion last Tuesday where over 200 representatives from every school in our diocese, including our systemic schools, congregational schools from primary & secondary schools plus other church agencies attended. CARITAS is one of Magdalene’s key charitable organisations which we support and funds go to many individuals in neighbouring countries who experience extreme poverty and various hardships. I encourage all students and families to support this charity wherever possible and my prayer this newsletter is for those in need who Project Compassion supports.

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CARITAS Launch (L to R) Chris Pernia (Yr10 SRC), Mr McMahon, Libby Clapson (Yr 9 SRC), Claudia Henderson (Yr10 SRC), Monica Ward-McCann (Wollongong Diocesan Director for Caritas Australia), Bishop Peter, Samuel Kiss (Yr 9 SRC), Mr Collins.

Our Year 7s have started the Year very well and were very involved in their recent Bootcamp day and our Seniors – both Year 11 and 12 – have commenced the year with great determination.

At last week’s P & F meeting, our new office bearers were elected. I thank all parents in attendance and congratulate those who have been elected into formal roles: Mr David Cornett (President), Mr Steve Grabowski (Secretary) and our new Treasurer Mrs Angela Young (Treasurer). I would also like to thank and acknowledge the outgoing Secretary Mrs Catherine McDonald and outgoing Treasurer (who has changed portfolios this year), Mr Steve Grabowski – both of whom have completed significant work in recent years.

A number of different decisions were made on the evening – including agreeing upon funding for the visit by St.Patrick’s Brewarrina, in-principle support for Phase 2 of Air Conditioning installation and excitingly, agreeance to commence the process for Magdalene Catholic High School to explore becoming a College in the near future. As such, a survey will go out to staff, students, parents/carers and the community to gain feedback on whether this is something that is supported.

Our Founding Principal Mr Alan McManus actually wished for Magdalene to be called a College when the School was established, however, at the time there was not unanimous support at Diocesan level. As the school moves into its 20th Year and given a change in Diocesan approaches, I now believe the time is right to become a College. I look forward to hearing your views in the weeks to follow.

To finish this newsletter, I would also like to remind everyone about two upcoming events:

Firstly, a WORKING BEE will occur at the end of next month. We have pencilled in the date of Sunday 25th March and on the day we will have two main goals – to plant a large number of trees and to also clear out the dam at the back of the School to create new environmentally-friendly outdoor learning spaces. We will encourage a broad range of participation and will send out more details in due course.

Secondly, planning for the School’s 20th Year Celebration Dinner is going very well. Mrs Michelle Cornett has already held a number of planning meetings and the initial plans are very exciting. It is sure to be a fantastic night on Friday 18th May at the Cube. Please pencil this date into your calendars.

It has been an impressive start to the year and I encourage parents to communicate with the School if you have any needs, ideas and/or questions as we continue to move forward.


God of all peoples and nations, you accompany us on our Lenten journey.

Through the life and mission of your son, you give us the gift of mercy.

May we learn to walk your way of justice and compassion with all your people.

In a special way, we keep in mind the children, women and men around the world who are most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice.

In this Year of Youth, may we support young people as they recognise that through their efforts, their desire to change and their generosity, they too are participating in the building of a better world.

Bless our prayers, our fasting and our Lenten gifts to Project Compassion.

Through these actions, may our hearts be open to receive your grace as we work towards a just future for all your creation.

We ask this in the name of Jesus,


The Episcopal Ordination of Most Reverend Brian Gregory Mascord

A very significant event is occurring on 22 February at 7 pm at the WIN Entertainment Centre to ordain our newest Bishop. The event is free and everyone is warmly invited to attend. Please see the attached FAQ to provide further information.
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Ordination of Bishop-Elect Brian Mascord and Official Farewell Dinner for Bishop Peter Ingham

Opportunities are available for you or your business to support the staging of these significant events. Please contact Debbie Gates, Director, Development and Community Engagement, Diocese of Wollongong on 4222 2446 or visit our website at if you would like to find out how to, or to, accept this invitation.

Shrove Tuesday

Every year Project Compassion is launched with a Staff vs Student Pancake competition on Shrove Tuesday, and this year was no different. The Social Justice Committee also sold Pancakes for $2 to start the fundraising for the worthy cause.

The Objective of the cook-off was for each team, staff and students to cook the largest quantity of pancakes within the fixed time limit of 2 minutes - messy fun! In the end the staff pulled through as judges believed that their pancakes were considerably more edible than the students. In all, a fun way to kick off our Project Compassion work!

Curriculum News

Senior CAFE for Year 11 and 12 students

Senior students are provided with a flexible space to collaborate with their peers on their learning, undertake independent study or arrange to meet with their teacher for additional support. Available each Monday from 3pm-4pm in the Library.

Homework Club for all students from Years 7-12

The library is open to all students from 3pm-4pm each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to support their learning. Students are supervised and if specific support is sought after please seek to make arrangements with your teachers beforehand. Students who may be interested in a Peer Tutor role during Tuesday afternoon Homework Club, please email Mrs Haines.

Maths Report

Dear Parents and Carers,

Since my first day at Magdalene Catholic High school this year, I have been so impressed with the students. They have been so friendly, organised, well-mannered and they have made me feel very welcome.

I am really looking forward to helping them learn to love maths.

I have also been very impressed with the facilities and resources provided by the school.

One of the tools made available to your child is Mathletics, an excellent online maths program. If your child has not logged on yet, please encourage them to approach their teacher again for their login. Year 7 students will be provided logins in next week.

Please encourage your child to also have their calculators packed for each lesson.

Within the mathematics faculty, we feel that an open line of communication with the classroom teacher is imperative. For that reason, we encourage parents to take the time to look at their child's book and speak to their child's teacher as required.

Mrs Renee Pickles

Mathematics Coordinator

Because .... Science

Happy Valentine’s Day in Senior Science.

Magdalene Senior Science students got an up close and personal look at the heart on Valentine Day. As part of the course, student’s study the way the importance of the heart and how it functions. Students dissected sheep hearts to see the “real thing” to support their understanding. A few hearts were well and truly broken by the end of the lesson.

Happening now in the Laboratories:

  • Year 7 are studying water

  • Year 8 are studying cells

  • Year 9 are studying plate tectonics

  • Year 10 are studying motion

Upcoming events:

  • 20th Feb selected students from Year 7 & 8 to attend UOW STEM day

  • Year 9: Week 5 Assessment Task 1 (Process & Analyse)

  • Year 7: Week 8 Assessment Task 1 (Student Research Project)

  • Year 8: Week 8 Assessment Task 1 (Student Research Project)

  • Year 10 Week 10 Assessment Task 1 (Open Ended Investigation)

Congratulations Luke!

Congratulations to Luke Small (8S) who participated in the Pan Pacific games in Adelaide, South Australia from Thursday 7th December – Sunday 10th December 2017. Luke successfully qualified via the State Athletics held in New South Wales in October 2017 where he placed 1st in the 800 meters and 3rd in Discuss.

A couple of links to articles about Luke are Included here:

Careers News

Have you thought about any of these jobs?

Plastic Surgeon, Computer Vision Scientist, Oral Surgeon, Physiotherapy, Physician Assistant, Forensics Investigator or Archaeologist!

These were a few of the careers that one of our current in year 10 students found out about during her experience in the University workshop on


The workshop was an intensive introductory experience in creating a 3D facial reconstruction. Clay was used to model the individual muscles, glands, fat and skin over a unique human replica skull, all the while learning about the methods used in archaeological and forensic facial reconstructions. The class was guided by Meagan who is a Research Associate collaborating with Dr Susan Hayes, UOW’s facial anthropologist, in the area of facial approximation.

After that workshop, I bet students will never look at a person’s face the same way again!

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Community News

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Coles Sport for Schools

Please help us collect as many dockets as possible. All dockets/goods received will be donated to St Patricks Brewarrina!
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Antioch Reunion

ANTIOCH REUNION: Calling all candidates, oldies, clergy, billet families, musicians, kitchen angels and friends of Antioch. A reunion is set for Saturday 3rd March 2018 including a meet and greet afternoon tea, celebratory mass and dinner. To register your interest and receive an invitation please email

General enquiries to Dianne Hukins 0412840772 or Ann Packham 0423869803. Musicians wishing to be involved in celebrations please contact Elise (Nicholls) Burns 0407781359.

School Calendar

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