Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 1 Week 11 - 13 April 2018

Principal's Blog

With Term One now but a memory, I would like to commend the vast number of students who have participated wholeheartedly across the School’s academic, sporting, spiritual and cultural program thus far. It has been a successful term and I would like to thank staff for their ongoing support and commitment.

The placement of the brief Easter break towards the end of this term has provided a challenge for students to remain focused until the final lesson, but it was also a taster for what no doubt will be an enjoyable two weeks’ vacation.

I have included here a number of reminders of upcoming or recent events in which the School has been involved.


I invite all students and families to attend the main ANZAC Day March in Camden on ANZAC Day. As Mrs Forner has indicated to the students, if they would like to attend, they are to add their names to the relevant google form.

On the day students are to wear their summer uniform with blazers and meet Ms Tolhurst at 10am on Elizabeth St in Camden (near Macarthur Tyres). The march begins at 10.30am and goes down the main street of Camden, finishing at Camden Bicentennial Equestrian Park where the commemoration service will begin at 11am. There will be a laying of a wreath by our student leaders.

Our School will be commemorating ANZAC Day on the first Wednesday back of next term.

These are now available for Years 7-11. More detailed reports will become available next term for Years 7-12 with Year 12 receiving theirs in the first part of Term Two.

I encourage parents/carers to read these interim reports and contact relevant teachers and/or the School if any clarification and/or support is required. Our aim, of course, is to support student learning as much as we possibly can.

Our next newsletter will reflect heavily on the Brewarrina visitors who we were fortunate to have at our School last week. It would be remiss, however, if I did not at least comment in this newsletter on how wonderful it was to have the students from St. Patrick’s Brewarrina with us and I believe the visit was a real blessing for our students and our school.

As you will see in future photographs and reports, the 20 students and three staff visitors, were the recipients of some outstanding hospitality and genuine kindness from our students, parents and community. I thank Ms Gray and all students, staff and families involved for providing an incredibly memorable experience for our guests.


Planning continues for our exciting gala evening. Tickets are on sale and tables are starting to go fast – please see further in this newsletter about where to go to purchase your ticket. The night is something you would not want to miss and it will be a wonderful celebration of the School, this being our 20th Year.


As you can read in the two articles about the Year 7 and Year 9 Camps, our students had memorable times away in Week 9.

Our Year 7 students had a very powerful experience at Teen Ranch and our Year 9s had a first-hand experience of camping in the outback. Broadly, students have spoken of the joy they experienced and the importance of being able to bond as a year group.

I would like to thank Mr Manns and Mrs Ashleigh Durrant for their respective leadership and all staff who participated and gave up nights away from family.

We are very much looking forward to the new term (beginning on Monday 30 April) and a quick reminder that our Winter Uniform is not to be worn until after Mother’s Day.

I wish students and their families a safe and restful break (although I know our Year 12s will build in substantial revision and study into their breaks), and as we move into the first term vacation, I thought it would be nice to conclude the term with a beautiful blessing of Celtic origin:

PRAYER: Celtic Blessing — Lord Of My Heart

Lord of my heart, give me vision to inspire me, that, working or resting, I may always think of You.

Lord of my heart, give me light to guide me, that, at home or abroad, I may always walk in Your way.

Lord of my heart, give me wisdom to direct me, that, thinking or acting, I may always discern right from wrong.

Lord of my heart, give me courage to strengthen me, that, amongst friends or enemies, I may always proclaim Your justice.

Lord of my heart, give me trust to console me, that hungry or well-fed, I may always rely on Your mercy.

Lord of my heart, save me from empty praise, that I may always boast of You.

Lord of my heart, save me from worldly wealth, that I may always look to the riches of Heaven.

Lord of my heart, save me from military prowess, that I may always seek Your protection.

Lord of my heart, save me from vain knowledge, that I may always study Your word.

Lord of my heart, save me from unnatural pleasures, that I may always find joy in Your wonderful creation.

Heart of my own heart, whatever may befall me, rule over my thoughts and feelings, my words and action.

Deep peace of the running water to You,
Deep peace of the flowing air to You,
Deep peace of the shining stars to You,
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to You.


Mr Matthew McMahon


Assistant Principal's Blog

Dear Parents/Carers,

If any of the contact details that we currently have on record for you change for any reason, can you please ensure that the School Office Staff are notified to ensure that our details remain as accurate as possible. This includes all phone and email contact for home and work. Over the past few weeks there have been occasions where Magdalene staff have been unable to contact parents/carers where details have not been updated. At times there is a need to post letters to the home and any change of address details is also important for the School to be informed about.

A change of details form can be accessed via the school website via the Downloads and Notes service which is accessible from the home page:

A printed copy of this form can also be accessed from the Front Office staff.

If you receive a missed call from Magdalene Catholic High School can you please return it at your earliest convenience. Staff will often leave a detailed message when this function is available and this also assists with you knowing who is attempting to contact you. Please avoid attempting to contact your child when they are at school as they are not permitted to access their mobile phones during the school day.

I thank you for your assistance with these matters and for your ongoing support of our great School. I am looking forward to the vacation period and I hope that it is a time for all students, staff and families to re-energise ready for Term 2. A reminder that students will change to the Winter School Uniform next Term on Monday 14th May. Please check the Uniform Policy in the Student Diary for a description of the correct Winter Uniform.

On a final note, Pope Francis this week released his apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad). In this exhortation the Holy Father reflects on the call to holiness in today’s world, and how we can respond to that call in the modern world by following the example and teachings of Jesus. The exhortation is accessible on the Vatican website.

Best wishes

Ms Jenny Foldes.

Year 7 Camp

Camp was a really great experience for me and all of Year 7 as we got to meet new people and test our limits. The thing I liked most about camp was making a whole new group of friends and being able to take part in different challenges. I learnt that I can push myself in many new ways even if it is very challenging. I can do it if I believe I can and I know that others can do it as well. During camp I tested myself in many different ways that I didn't know I could. I tested my limits in high ropes as I have a fear of heights, I was very excited to do it but when I got to the top I was shaking and I was trying to stay positive to myself but it was really hard. The hardest part during high ropes was switching the locks, as it was a scary process. In the end, I was very happy and glad I did it, as I knew I would regret not doing it. Overall camp was a great opportunity to get to know each other and also to get to know yourself.

- Abbey Searle 7D

Camp was awesome because the energy was amazing and everyone had a go. There was not one person in my group that didn't want to have a go at new things. I learnt to have a go and push myself. My favourite activity was high ropes. I just love the fact that you’re 7 meters in the air hanging with friends, literally. Everyone did the giant swing, even our teacher. Year 7 camp was the best.

- Adrian Lane 7W

I enjoyed camp at Teen Ranch a lot! It was a great 3-day experience that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. One of my favourite activities was the high ropes as it was challenging but it was so fun! Horse riding was another one of my favourite activities. During camp, I learned about teamwork and what skills needed to be in a team and work together. I pushed myself in every activity, especially high ropes and crate climb. In high ropes, I thought it wouldn’t be that scary but when I got up there it was so high. I pushed myself and I made it through the course. On the crate climb, I did it two times and I made it to the top. During the stay at Teen Ranch, there were some people that I wouldn't have thought to talk to that I did talk to and I made a heap of new friends from both my cabin and my group.

- Amber English 7H

The Year 7 camp to Teen Ranch was a memorable experience with an atmosphere of joy and laughter, and everybody having fun. Camp provided Year 7 with lots of different activities from riding horses to testing yourself on the high ropes. I learned many new things on this camp. What I learned was that if you put your mind to something it will happen and that I should be very grateful to the Teen Ranch staff and the experiences that I will remember. I am grateful for this because there are many people living in poverty and would not be able to go to camp or even have the bare essentials in life. I believe that I tested myself out of my comfort zone and doing things that I would not have thought myself doing. At camp, I also created new friendships with other different people and created a stronger bond with those that I knew from the first three weeks of High School. All in all, the Teen Ranch camp was a fun, enjoyable and exhilarating experience that many will remember.

- Spencer Goldfinch 7H

At the Year 7 camp there were many fun and enjoyable activities and many new friendships made. I really enjoyed the activities the most as it created the best memories from the camp. Camp was also a great way to learn more and to connect to God. It helped me realise new things in life and have a slightly new perspective towards my life. There are some activities at camp where I had to go past my comfort zone but it is the best feeling to know that I pushed myself because then I didn't have a feeling of regret. Camp is one of the best ways to create new friendships. Meeting new people in your cabins and day groups is so much fun and they can become your friends you would hang out with all the time. Year 7 camp is a camp I will never forget.

- Melodia Zimmatore 7S

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Year 9 Camp

Our journey to The Tea Gardens began at 7:20am, Tuesday the 27th of May. After the 4 and a half hour bus journey, we arrived at The Great Aussie Bush Camp, a little restless. We were welcomed by the amazing, funny and caring staff; before beginning our first activities in our homeroom groups. Our activities over the three days consisted of The Giant Swing, Kayaking, High Ropes, Survivor Challenge, Archery, Gully Crossing, Lost Island and Crate Climbing. Every activity challenged people to go further than what they were comfortable with causing many emotions to arise; which is okay as we had supportive teachers, instructors and friends behind us to encourage each other to go further.

In between almost every activity, we got snow cones to cool down which was awesome! As the days drew to a close, dinner and night activities began. The night activities were a lot of fun, with The Challenge Night being a great night and Commando the next night being a fun and exhilarating challenge in the bush, which seemed to be fun for both the students and especially the teachers as they were the winners!

I’m sure, as a year group we could all agree that camp was one of the best, most fun, eye-opening and challenging experiences we’ve had to date. It wouldn't have been the unforgettable trip it was without the organisation of the instructors, site staff and teachers who were all there for us, whether it be after a scary activity, having a laugh with us or to provide us with food so we didn’t starve. We all have a lot of memories to reflect on and to be thankful for.

A HUGE thank you / shout out to our instructors and pastoral teachers (Miss Cupillari, Miss Gray, Mr Iacono, Miss Said, Mr Burden, Mr Miszczyszyn, Mr Dowdell) and of course to our wonderful year coordinator Mrs Durrant. We appreciate you all spending time away from your own families just for us, as you all played a pretty big part in making this camp experience a great one.

Year 9 Camp 2018 was an exciting and fun three days away, and will definitely not be forgotten for many years to come.

Olivia Farrell 9 Wilson

NAPLAN Testing 2018

NAPLAN is an indicator of student progress at a school and state level, assisting teachers in assessing whether a student is progressing or requires additional support. Year 7 and 9 students will complete NAPLAN tests during Week 3 of Term 2. Please see the timetable below for specific dates.

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*Since 2014, the genre for the writing test has not been disclosed prior to the test period. This will also be the case for 2018.There is an equal possibility that the writing test will require students to write a response in the narrative or persuasive genre. There will not be a choice of genre.

Students will receive further information regarding locations and times of NAPLAN tests at the beginning of Term 2. At this time, students will also be informed of expectations of behaviour during the testing and materials required for tests.

Sample tests and NAPLAN information can be found at

2018 NAPLAN results will be provided to schools from mid-August to mid-September.

Please note that as of February this year, NAPLAN results are no longer linked to the minimum standard of numeracy and literacy for the HSC. This keeps NAPLAN as primarily a diagnostic tool. From this year, all students will now meet the HSC minimum standard through short online tests in reading, writing and numeracy. Tests can be taken in Years 10, 11 or 12.

Miss Stephanie Phillips

Acting English Coordinator

Literacy Teacher

Congratulations Bradley! - Junior Dragster Australian Champion!

One of our Year 12 students, Bradley Bishop, Captain for Sedgwick House competed in the “Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series”. Bradley went through a gruelling series of races throughout the past year, travelling around Australia, including a stint in Darwin, to participate against others in his Junior age group bracket in hopes of winning the Australian Championship. On 23 and 24 March, this dream became a reality when Bradley went through in 2 rounds in Adelaide, leading to securing enough points to get him the title.

Congratulations to Bradley Bishop for becoming the “ Junior Dragster Australian Champion”.

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NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge

Reading is the most important factor in determining the future success of a child. With this in mind, it is exciting to know that the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge has commenced! The PRC affords students the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of texts and extends reading capacity.

The competition will conclude on 31 August, so there is still plenty of time for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 to start reading. In 2017, almost 291, 000 students across the state successfully completed the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. How many Magdalene students will be involved this year? With almost 8, 000 titles to choose from, students have no excuse not to be reading.

How can The Premier’s Reading Challenge support parent involvement in student reading?

The PRC provides a fantastic opportunity for parents to be involved in their children’s reading and literacy development.

- Selecting books from the PRC list with your child allows you to be involved in their reading choices and supports discussion of what is being read.

- Parental involvement in teenage reading helps instil a love of reading for pleasure and places a high value on reading as a means of education.

To be involved, students are required to register and keep an online record of books read. Further details can be found at:

Students will receive further information prior to the end of term.

Ms Stephanie Phillips

Acting English Coordinator

Literacy Teacher

Magdalene Catholic High School 20 Year Gala Dinner

The excitement is building as our Gala Dinner approaches on the 18th May 2018 at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club.

We have confirmed some fabulous musical talent for the night to accompany our 3-course fine dining menu, accompanied by a quality selection of wines.

The night will include many fantastic giveaways, including a luxurious Two Night Farmstay in the beautiful Southern Highlands, for up to four people.

Come and join us to celebrate and recall wonderful memories from your time at Magdalene Catholic High School, and find out where we are headed for the future as we enter our 20th Year. We invite our entire community, past and present to join us for an elegant evening of dining and entertainment, providing the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

We look forward to your company on the 18th May. Please direct all enquiries to Michelle Cornett at

To book your tickets

Follow us on facebook

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Mission Update

We would like to thank everybody involved in project compassion so far, whether it be helping out the mission team, or simply donating to one of the many events that have occurred this Term. Close to $2000 has been raised so far, through Shrove Tuesday sales, Valentines Day roses and more recent events like the cross country BBQ and Tuesday afternoon ice-blocks. Students have also had the opportunity to donate in Homeroom, through the project compassion boxes or bucket collections running Wednesday through Friday.

Ongoing appeals:

Currently, students are able to take part in the Project Compassion Brewarrina Indigenous themed colouring-in competition, where a gold coin donation towards Caritas will allow them the chance to win 2 Luna Park Tickets. Entries are available in the library and the competition is running until the end of Week 1 next term.
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Term 2 will see our Social Justice focus shift towards the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal and our annual Winter SleepOut. Stay tuned for more details next Term.
Live and Verve Event

Students can look forward to the upcoming Live and Senior Verve Twilight Retreat. To be held on Friday the 4th of May (the first week of Term 2), with an overarching theme of; Choose Joy. The night is a fun opportunity to strengthen their bonds with year mates and create new bonds while deepening their spirituality, faith and understanding of the world. On the night students will experience live music, games, input related to the theme, small group activities, team building activities and faith formation and spiritual development. There will also be a range of inspiring guest speakers and engaging presenters to bring the night alive and give attendees plenty of reason to choose joy.

The event will have two parts - a lunchtime concert in the CAPA, run by the CYM Wollongong Band and then the twilight retreat after school. Students will be able to stay at school for afternoon tea, which will be followed by the Live Twilight open to all students. Dinner will be held after Live concludes at approximately 5:30 pm. The Verve Twilight for Senior Students will commence after dinner running until approximately 9 pm.

Live - 2:45pm - 6:00pm ( All Students Yr7 - Yr12 Welcome)

Verve Twilight 6:00pm - 9:00pm (Yrs 10, 11 & 12 Only)

Afternoon Tea and Dinner included - the event is FREE

Permission notes can be accessed through the following links and need to be returned by Term 2 Week 1.

Year 7, 8 & 9 Permission Note Link -

Year 10, 11 & 12 Permission Note Link -

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Youth Ministry Leaders Retreat & Launch

Just prior to Easter our Youth Ministry Leaders (YMLs) from Year 11 attended a leadership training retreat with the other YML leaders from across the Diocese. The two days provided students with an opportunity to meet and work with like-minded young people, to further develop their faith and spirituality and to look at the practicalities of leading Youth Ministry in their school. The students had an amazing time and have returned to school buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm. The YMLs have commenced work on a number initiatives including the introduction of regular Lunchtime Youth Ministry sessions which commenced last week with the successful YML launch. Watch this space for details about sessions coming up in Term 2.

Mr Peter Collins

Mission Coordinator

New Busabout Timetable

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Congratulations Kaneisha

Kaneisha Cox (Year 8) placed 1st in the Camden Show for her peacock drawing which was completed for her Term 4 Art Class last year.

Kaneisha was entered into section 284, Animal 12 to 15 yrs Juvenile, for her colour drawing.

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Track and Field - Congratulations Isabella Lawrence

Congratulations to Isabella Lawrence (9W) on her recent track and field success. Isabella competed at the Regional Little Athletics Championships, held in February, and also the State Little Athletics Championships, held recently on the 23-25 March. Isabella competes for the Campbelltown Athletics Club and consistently demonstrates dedication, effort and perseverance allowing her to achieve outstanding results against athletes from across NSW.

Well done on the following achievements across both carnivals:

Regional Championships (6 medals – 3 records achieved)

300 Hurdles 1st place (new record)

Senior Girls Relay 1st place (new record)

Triple Jump 1st place

Long Jump 1st place

200m 2nd place (new record)

100m 3rd place

State Championships (1 medal)

Senior Girls Relay 3rd place

300 hurdles 6th place

100m 11th place

Triple Jump 11th place

Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer Information

This is just a friendly reminder to our Parents and Carers that our School has the services of an Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer.

Sharynne Freeman has worked with Catholic Education for five years and is only too happy for Parents and Carers to contact her with queries and requests for information in the Macarthur and Southern Highland areas.

Sharynne also sends out information to Careers Advisors in our Secondary Schools for career opportunities that students can access, as well as information relevant to Primary Schools.

Sharynne’s email address is or she can be contacted on 0409 359 041 or 02 4253 0822 between 8.00am and 3.30pm.

Sport News

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Canteen Menu

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Year 10 and 11 Meningococcal Vaccinations Wednesday 23 May

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2018 School Fees

The 2018 School fee statements were sent home recently via email. As per the Wollongong Diocesan School Fee Management policy, school fees are generally due 30 days after invoicing, however, a variety of methods of payment and frequency are offered to provide families with the flexibility to meet their commitments. We refer you to the School’s website for full details

If families wish to enter into a payment plan, a Diocesan School Fee Agreement form is available on the school website and must be completed and returned to the school within 30 days of the School Fee statement being issued. We wish to extend our apologies for the delay in issuing your School Fee statement. Any queries regarding your account, please call the School’s Finance Team on 46313300 or email

Yours sincerely

Magdalene's Finance Team

Catholic Care

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Community News

Camden Council Youth Week Celebrations

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School Calendar

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