Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 3 Week 5 - 24 August 2018

Principal's Blog


Despite glorious weather in the morning, as soon as 1 o’clock on Saturday afternoon (18.8.18) clicked over, the clouds and winds amassed.

While this did curb some of the activities planned, it certainly did not dull the enthusiasm for all who attended (over 300) across our Return to Magdalene afternoon.

It was a shame the wind and rain prevented our musicians from entertaining the crowd but there was still enough time for a number of children to play on the inflatable slides. A BBQ cranked out sausage sandwiches all afternoon and fairy floss was distributed at record rates. With over $500 raised I thank our students and staff who ran the Vietnam Immersion cake and gift stall. So too, I thank all students who were involved in the school tours on the day.

Despite the weather, the afternoon was a chance for new and past staff members and students to celebrate our 20th Year as a School and, having spoken to and observed many on the day, it was clear there was much pride on show. Indeed, with coffee, cake, comradery, a good variety of School Memorabilia (and even face painting) it was a great way to recognise all things Magdalene.

There are simply too many staff and parents to thank for their contribution on the day but please accept my heartfelt thanks for your hard work and contributions.


Last Sunday I was fortunate to attend the 54th Annual Catholic Club Mass & luncheon.

The Catholic Club continues to be a wonderful supporter of Magdalene and it was great to be able to celebrate with them on this day.

The mass was held at St. John the Evangelist Church, Campbelltown and the lunch at The Cube.

At the mass, representatives from each Catholic primary and secondary school were present and entered the church with their school candle. Students then participated in key parts of the Eucharist and sung with gusto throughout the mass. I would like to thank Year 11 students Kirsten Burgess and Zach Gunner (pictured below) for representing us on the day and being generous with their time. It was also another opportunity for us to hear from our new bishop, Bishop Mascord.

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As we move to become a College in 2019 and thereby commence a new era for Magdalene, the following “prayer for transition” by Joseph Shadle is quite fitting:

God of Love,
You are with us in every transition and change.
As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.
We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.
Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in your Holy Name.

- Amen.

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Curriculum News

Year 10 Examination Block

Year 10 Students and Parents/Carers have received an information letter and timetable for their upcoming exams. These will run from Monday 3rd September through to Tuesday 11th September. Students will receive notifications for each exam that should direct them to specific content to prepare for. If students will be away for their exams, they are to notify the school as soon as they are aware and submit an Illness/Misadventure Form on their return to school.

Year 11 Examination Block

Year 11 Students and Parents/Carers have received an information letter and timetable for their upcoming exams. These will run from Thursday 13th September through to Tuesday 25th September. This will be the first senior examination block and so there are some additional items to draw your attention to:

  • Students are only required to attend school when they have an examination.
  • Students may not leave school between exams if they have two on one day.
  • Students are required to sign in to the library if they are remaining at school outside of their scheduled exams.

These additional items are to support Year 11 in providing time for them to prepare for their exams, in line with allowances available for the HSC. There is an expectation that they will not be using this time for additional part-time employment or social events.

If students are absent for an exam, they are to contact the school prior to the exam start time via phone or email to Mr Arzapitian and Mrs Haines.

Year 7 and 9 NAPLAN SRT

Schools across NSW will undertake NAPLAN Online School Readiness Testing with their Year 7 and Year 9 students. This is a prerequisite for schools to be able to administer NAPLAN tests online for 2019, which Catholic Schools NSW intend to do. As such there will be readiness testing for Year 7 and 9 at Magdalene in Week 7. Letters and information flyers have been sent home with more details.

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Year 9 2019 Elective Subject Information Evening

Reminder to all Year 8 parents/carers that this information evening is on Monday 27th August. It will commence with Subject presentations from 6pm. Information and rooming letters sent home through students and via email.

Year 10 into 11 Subject Interviews

Reminder to Year 10 Parents/Carers to book an interview window through the Google Form

Interview details will be notified by Friday 31st August and will take place on Thursday 13th September in the Library.

Mrs Peiti Haines

Curriculum Coordinator

Pilot Youth Employment Forum

On 20th August, four students were lucky enough to be involved in the Pilot Youth Employment Forum held by Chris Patterson (member of Parliament, Camden) and Mike Conway (CEO and founder of XVenture). Four students, Mark Bligh, Joshua Nies, Zoe Wade and I (Holly Major), had the pleasure of travelling to the New South Wales parliament for this special event. On this day we were faced with many challenges and activities that gave us a chance to socialise and make friends with 100 leaders and representatives from other schools. The four of us received information talks about the careers and opportunities available to us. We were inspired by guest speakers such as:

  • Jane Huxley (CEO of Spotify for Australia)

  • Luke Mangan (Owner of restaurants in Australia, Singapore, Japan, chef of first class Virgin Airlines, and aboard P&O Cruises)

  • Amy Harrison (Matilda and Sydney FC player)

  • Sean Berry (Journalist for Channel 7)

Out of my curiosity for the hospitality industry, I was even offered a job by Luke Mangan personally! It was a wonderful day that was a real eye opener for us all. We were given possibly life-altering information that will help us in determining our future careers and workforce lives. Not only this, but we were also given so many opportunities to show and share our skills surrounding teamwork with many students from other schools. This was accomplished through the many tasks and activities that we participated in. These activities consisted of a domino challenge (determining what team could construct the longest domino line in 7 minutes that would tumble completely), a soap stacking challenge which involved stacking as many packets of soap within 2 minutes with the help of your teammates, a breathing exercise and finally a cubby house construction task. At the end of all this, we had some time to sit down and reflect on the day and consider what we learnt about others, ourselves and our own future career. The most important lessons that we were taught over the course of the day was to never give up hope, always say yes to new career opportunities, be resilient and always persevere through the tough times. As Luke Mangan, a leading chef here in Australia emphasized in reference to perseverance, “to make the best stock, you've just got to keep adding more to it. The more you add, the more you get out of it”. It is almost certain that each one of us took at least something inspirational out of the day, whether it was a new open door to an exciting career path or just how to make a soup better. I’m sure it will stay to be a truly memorable experience that none of us will regret being a part of. We recommend any students who get the chance over the next few years to experience what we have, to be inclined to say yes to this incredible opportunity.

We feel deeply honoured to represent Magdalene and to be the first four students from our school to be a part of this pilot Youth Employment Forum. We wish to extend our gratitude to Ms Foldes for organising transport and Mr Wright for supervising and accompanying us into and out of the city safely.

  • Written By Holly Major (with the assistance of Joshua Nies, Mark Bligh, Zoe Wade and Mr Kevin Wright)

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New Apple Shop and repair Centre - EduComIT

A new authorised Apple reseller and repairer has just opened up in Smeaton Grange. This is the company that the school uses to purchase new Apple products and source quotes on damaged student repairs. If you require any help with purchases, please call Jay McCann at EduComIT – see attached term 3 sales brochure.

They have also set up an online portal for the Wollongong Diocesan schools. The site ( is password ‘BYOD2018’ (case sensitive).

To request a quote phone them on 02 4605 0499 or email if you require assistance with your service request booking.

Contact Jay McCann

Mob: 0408 162 926Top of Form

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ABN: 64 626 943 379
Unit 14, 151 Hartley Road, SMEATON GRANGE, NSW, 2567

Mr Danny Avalos

Learning Technologies Coordinator

Student MacBook Damage

As part of the schools' B.Y.O.D MacBook agreement, all students must carry their notebooks in a durable protective case. This ensures that the MacBook is kept safe and that families can avoid any unnecessary cost.

Over the past few weeks, there has been an increase in the number of students seeking help from our IT office for damage caused to their B.Y.O.D Macbook. The majority of damage has occured as a result of students not using a protective carry case or using a case that is not suitable to protect the MacBook if it is dropped.

The increase in students taking water bottles to class has also seen an increase in the damage as a result of liquid spills. A water spill on the keyboard will cause significant damage to the electrical components on the machine and usually results in the device been written off with parents forced to purchase a new MacBook. Water damage and/ or a broken screen are not covered by the Manufacture's Warranty and can be avoided if students take care of how they carry and use their MacBook at school and home.

Mr Danny Avalos

Learning Technologies Coordinator

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Magdalene Catholic High School is building a cyber safe community during National eSmart Week.

eSmart Schools was developed in response to schools’ expressed need for a positive and evidence-informed framework to address issues of cyber bullying and cyber safety. More than 2,300 schools across Australia are currently participating in the eSmart Schools program.

This year Magdalene is participating in the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s National eSmart Week from 2-8 September 2018, to show its commitment to keeping children, teens and adults safe online. Over the next few weeks, students will be given information and opportunities to participate in activities to educate them on being safe online.

Held to coincide with National Child Protection Week, National eSmart Week creates awareness, solutions and ideas and encourages the whole community to be smart, safe and responsible when using digital technology.

The internet is a great place to learn, be creative and stay connected, but with one in five young Australians found to have been cyberbullied each year, it is important that we invest in giving our Magdalene community the skills and knowledge they need to be responsible and safe online.

Parents are critical stakeholders and your support for eSmart initiatives are essential for achieving successful outcomes. As a family please take some time to discuss how the internet is used and how to be safe online.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has a great website that contains useful information for both parents and students on how to be safe online.

For more information on eSmart visit:

For more information on the Office of the eSafety Commissioner:

Mr Danny Avalos

Learning Technologies Coordinator

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Science News

Year 7 are continuing work on the topic "Great Land Down under". They would have recently completed their assessment task in Week 4.

Year 8 are working on the topic of Energy.

Year 9 are continuing work on their Student Research Projects (SRPs) with their final reports due in Week 6 of Term 3 (Tuesday). They should have had their initial idea & first/second draft signed off by their teachers and are completing their practical work at home.

Year 10 are still working through either their Chemistry or Biology topics in preparation for their RoSA in week 7.

The Year 11 courses have now finished their depth studies and will be finished the preliminary course by the end of this term!

Below are some photos that were recently taken of a Year 10 Science class showing their Chemistry skills.

Year 9 PASS Excursion

Year 9 Physical Activity and Sport Studies (PASS) students are currently learning about the importance of physical fitness. Within this unit of work, students will learn about the health and skill related components of fitness, current initiatives that encourage young people to participate in physical activity, how to design a basic training program using the FITT principle, and also how to successfully incorporate five training principles to improve performance outcomes.

Students have also visited Dynamo Athletic, Smeaton Grange to participate in three physical fitness sessions targeting aerobic conditioning and anaerobic power/speed. Trent from Dynamo Athletic has educated students on the importance of physical conditioning and correct technique when executing movements. For more information on Dynamo Athletic, please visit

Mr Tim Manns

Acting PDHPE Coordinator

Boots for Africa

A donation bin has been placed in the foyer of the school library. It is scheduled to stay there for the remainder of this week and next week. This bin was implemented to collect football boots. The boots that are collected over the next week will be sent to an organisation called Boots for Africa.

Currently in Africa children play sport with no shoes and access to boots is something they can’t even consider. Boots for Africa is a non-profit organisation that collects sports equipment and sends it over to South Africa. The collected boots are handed out by the organisation to school communities and poverty-stricken communities throughout Africa.

By giving communities boots these people are able to play soccer and football in comfort. This organisation supports the grassroots development of sport. African communities are passionate about their sport, however they are limited to participating and enjoying sport due to the lack of resources available to them.

Boots for Africa provides those less fortunate with an opportunity to utilise resources that further allow them to improve upon their sporting skills, increase their participation rates in the game and bring communities together. Just one pair of your old soccer/football boots could go a long way. Boots are something we in Australia take for granted, however to a child in Africa they are something in which they will cherish and be extremely grateful for.

If you are able to please donate your soccer boots to the bin in the school library foyer it would be much appreciated.

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Congratulations Jayla

Jayla (7M) plays football (soccer) for the Representative team, Macarthur Rams (Under 12's).

She recently had trials to enter a Tournament for State Titles, in which she was selected for the Metro South West Team, she was the only one from her team that was selected.

The tournament is held at NSW Football at Glenwood, with 2 games per day from 1st October - 5th October.

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Do You Have Some Sport News You Wish To Share?

If you are aware of some fantastic sports news or achievements that we need to know about - please let us know. Initial emails can go to Thank you


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Canteen Roster

Check the roster here!

School Calendar

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