Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 1 Week 5 - 2 March 2018

Principal's Blog

Magdalene Catholic College?

As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, it is time to reflect upon whether Magdalene Catholic High School should become a College i.e. be named “Magdalene Catholic College”.

A survey will be sent out in the coming days which looks to provide an opportunity to hear from all relevant stakeholders – community members, current students, staff and parents, and ex-students and ex-parents of Magdalene.

The text in the header of the survey will read:

Magdalene has been delivering quality Catholic education in the Macarthur for the past 20 years. As we move into our 21st year (2019) it is time to reflect on who we are and whether we have "come of age" to the necessary extent to become a “College”.

As you know, a number of events have been planned this year - our 20th year since Magdalene's commencement. This milestone has also proven to be a great opportunity to reflect on who we are. We continue to have high expectations, fostering an environment that allows each student to achieve their personal best and we promote engaging and contemporary conditions for learning. However, does our name reflect the quality of what we offer?

Historically it should be noted that our Foundation Principal, Mr Alan McManus (may God rest his soul) wanted Magdalene to be called 'Magdalene Catholic College' back in 1998 - before the School first commenced on the site of Mater Dei. Parent representatives of the day also desired this. However, it was felt at the time at a Diocesan level that this was not the right move - as it may be perceived as too elitist. Since then, the Diocese now has a number of Colleges and has changed its viewpoint. Initial anecdotal responses from the P & F and current staff, also suggest that it is time that we too become a College.

Therefore, this brief survey aims to get a sense of where the community stands on this issue. We also hope this will open up dialogue as we reflect maturely on who we are as we move into our next twenty years.

With neighbouring schools now called Colleges, I believe that Magdalene would benefit from such a move.

I have been in two schools in the past that have renamed themselves Colleges and the result is an increasing pride in the institution and also an improved perception of how students regard themselves.

Please note a move towards a College would have:

- no impact on school fees;

- does not change our relationship with the Diocese – we would still remain a systemic school within the Diocese of Wollongong

- would not change our logo or crest (other than an alternate name at the bottom of the crest).

When you receive the survey – please have your say!


On Monday evening 19 February, I was delighted to attend a civic function held by Camden Council to recognise High Achievers in the Local Area. On the night, Magdalene had 63 students named as a “High Achiever” (the second most on the evening) and these students all received / will receive a gift and a framed certificate.

With university commencing on that very same day only a small number of our students (see photo below) could attend on the night to receive their accolade but it was quite a fitting way to recognise excellence amongst our Year 12 2017 cohort. Well done to all.

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Camden Council High Achievers Function: L-R Lara Symkowiak, Mr McMahon, Madeline Boaro, Alexandra Willis, Chelsea Tonkin, Renee Ryan, Laura Leone, Isaac Percy, Bailey Wray, James Gibson, Mr Chris Patterson.
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Mission Update

Project Compassion 2018

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration and uplifting of spirit before the holy time of Lent.

Last week on the 13th February, selected staff and students battled head-to-head in a pancake-making frenzy to see who would reign victorious. Many students observed eagerly to judge the opponents, both with great skill and experience on their sides. A big thanks to the staff and student chefs, all those who assisted in providing the pancakes and the Social Justice Group members who lent a hand in serving the delicious food. Not only is this a time for some light-hearted competition, it is also a time when the Magdalene school community can fundraise in order to support Caritas in their Project Compassion, helping to improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals globally. It was fantastic to receive so many pre-orders and feed hungry people on this day of celebration. Great appreciation goes to all for helping in selling and indulging in these pancakes for a good cause. Ultimately, an excellent number of 250 pancakes were sold, a fantastic achievement. After both teams worked arduously to perfect their pancakes, the anticipated result was a win, for…the teachers! A great environment was created and we applaud their success.

Mrs Treloar: ‘The most fulfilling and satisfying pancakes I’ve ever had in my life, what a nice way to fundraise for Caritas

Week three also brought us Valentine's Day celebrations. In respect for Ash Wednesday, traditional Valentine roses were sold on Friday (at the swimming carnival) instead. With the great turn out to the swimming carnival, there were many opportunities for students to purchase roses in support of Caritas. We sold a tremendous 400 roses on the day and overall, close to $1000 has been raised for the Caritas project so far.

This year our focus is closer to home, supporting indigenous communities in Australia so we are very grateful for everyone’s support. Currently, students would’ve noticed Project Compassion boxes in their homerooms, as well as bucket collections from Wednesday – Thursday. All of these collections go directly to Caritas, allowing them to continue supporting these communities, so all donations are greatly appreciated. Although it may not seem like much if everyone in the school brings in just a few dollars we could potentially raise thousands to give to those in need.

So a big thank-you to everyone who has supported Caritas in the past, through donations, Shrove Tuesday, Valentines celebrations, etc. We are looking forward to your continued support and wish you and all your families the best in the coming years.

Yesterday, Thursday 1st March we were fortunate enough to have a guest speaker, Janak Prasad Sharma (Caritas Nepal) who visited a number of Religious Education classes throughout the day to give staff and students an insight into life in Nepal and the work of Caritas in empowering the Nepalese people to move beyond poverty. Students heard about young Nepalese people like Janaki who, with the support of Caritas, have set up their own business and provided employment and pathways out of poverty. Janaki has become a leader and role model in her community and beyond.

By Lucy T and Steff R

(Mission Media Team)

Curriculum News

Changes to Minumum Literacy and Numeracy Standards.

From 2020 students are required to attain a Minimum Standard for Literacy and Numeracy to be eligible for their Higher School Certificate credential. This impacts students currently in Year 10 or younger. They were able to achieve this level through achievement in their Year 9 NAPLAN in 2017 or testing in subsequent years. The first opportunity for this testing will take place for our Year 10 students in Term 2.

NSW Education Standards Authority has introduced further changes for Attainment of Minimum Literacy and Numeracy Standards for current Year 9 students. They have removed NAPLAN as an opportunity for attainment of Minimum Literacy and Numeracy and as such all students will take part in programs from Year 10 in 2019.

NAPLAN exams will take place in May for all Year 7 and Year 9 students more information will be available closer to the date.

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.

Centenarians' Birthday

Centenarian Luncheon Tuesday the 27th February 2018.

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the Year 11 Society and Culture class had the privilege

of assisting at the Meals on Wheel Centenarian Luncheon at the Camden Civic Centre. The fantastic function was made possible by Camden Meals on Wheels. The four wonderful centenarians were surrounded by family, friends and members of Camden South Primary and Magdalene Catholic High School. It was amazing to think that these ladies could remember when there was no Sydney Harbour Bridge; we were surrounded by living History. It was an amazing afternoon for experiencing intergenerational understanding.

Madyson Kenny ( Yr 11 SAC)

Science Report

Thirty-five keen students for Year 7 and Year 8 joined over 500 students from the local area at the UOW STEM day. Students participated in a range of hands-on activities, ranging from problems solving to nuclear medicine.

Year 8 students learning about the structure of atoms and nuclear decay using M&Ms…yum!

Year 7 students talk about how they solve the problem of lowering a cat in a cup to the ground.

Happening Now:

· Year 7 are studying water

· Year 8 are studying cells

· Year 9 are studying plate tectonics

· Year 10 are studying motion

Upcoming events:

· 7th March Open Night

· 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)

English Report

Literacy Planet

We’d like to welcome you and your child to Literacy Planet! As part of a commitment to providing high-quality literacy education, all junior students have a school subscription to this engaging online resource.

Literacy Planet is designed by educators to support the Australian Curriculum and the comprehensive development of key literacy skills. Suitable for students of all abilities, the program includes more than 15,000 exercises to cover reading, comprehension, spelling, writing, grammar and punctuation. English teachers set a variety of tasks appropriate to the skills of each student and are able to track achievement. This provides children with a literacy learning experience that is interactive, motivating, rewarding and fun. Your child has a personalised profile, can earn redeemable credits and rewards for participation and can engage in multi-player games with their classmates in a safe and closed online environment. Students can access their Literacy Planet account on any internet connected computer or tablet device. Please encourage your child’s use of Literacy Planet at home to support their learning at school.

Login and password details are available through your child’s English Teacher.

Ms Stephanie Phillips

Acting English Coordinator

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Social Justice News

Congratulations to Brooke Peters on her commitment to those less fortunate in society!!
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Sport News

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Congratulations Luke (Yr 8)

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Congratulations Brady! (Yr 10)

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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

Keep up to date with what's going on!