Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 2 Week 9 - 29 June 2018

Principal's Blog

The creation of the “Director’s Art Gallery” is an opportunity for the Catholic Education Office Wollongong to recognise the wonderful quality of art that Catholic Schools produce right across the Diocese.

On Monday, four of our Magdalene students’ art works were selected to be recognised and displayed in the makeshift “Director’s Art Gallery”, located in CEO’s Market Street Building in Wollongong. This display will be in operation for the next three months.

With so many talented artists at Magdalene it is very difficult to select simply four pieces or bodies of works but as you can see in the work here, Kaneisha Cox, Christina David, Shaela Harrison and Jack Beeby were all very worthy recipients. It was also great to see family members being able to celebrate with these students on the day.

Director, Mr Peter Turner, spoke very fondly of the broad range of talents, abilities and skills we have right across the Macarthur and the Illawarra as students from Nowra, Albion Park and Bellambi were all recognised along with our students.

I would like to thank Ms Delaney for her assistance leading up to and on the day and once again pass on my delight and praise to our fine ambassadors from the School.


In recent weeks the CAPA community has banded together to be a part of two spectacular events.

Magdalene Shines (see photographs later in this Newsletter) was an extraordinary showcase of musicians, dancers, dramatists and singers. Our own Year 12 group also shone with a range of differing dance styles and a joyous celebration in their Year 12 Act.

In all, over 30 acts performed on the night (in front of a very large audience) and there was certainly much talent on display.

I commend all students involved and thank Mr Mae, Mr O’Donnell, Mrs Stevens and Mrs Durrant for their significant contribution in ensuring the night was a success. I also recognise the other twenty plus staff who assisted on and/or in the in lead up to the evening.

On Tuesday it was great to see our dancers (48 of them!) perform at the Campbelltown Catholic Club’s Cube in the MISA Dance Festival. The event saw all Macarthur Independent Schools Association (MISA) Schools participate and it was a celebration of the skill and talent of all of these students rather than a competition. Many dance styles including: hip hop, ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, gymnastics and contortionism were seen across the day – and there was a wonderful sense of fun evident.

In my closing address to the gathering, I pointed out how important family members have been (parents/carers/guardians) supporting these talented young dancers. Indeed, the amount of hours it takes to support them over the years is noteworthy (e.g. lessons, transport to and from venues, galas, concerts etc), let alone the financial and emotional commitment. I trust our young people genuinely appreciate and recognise this support.

In all, I thank our students for sharing their talents and I acknowledge that each Magdalene student was a wonderful ambassador for their school.

Look out for future newsletter articles about these events.


We certainly live in a troubled world, and as I mentioned at Assembly this week, looking at the lack of hope, the hatred and the lack of inclusivity which is being pursued and sprouted from the United States (and/or often in the news cycle) it is only natural that people can feel somewhat lost or debilitated by all of this “bad news”.

So, when we are faced with such challenges, what is the best approach? St Paul suggested four things: (i) being joyful, (ii) being gentle with one another, (iii) praying, and (iv) filling our minds with what is good and true.

Therefore, this newsletter’s prayer is more of a reflection on St. Paul’s words from his letter to the Philippians and his ‘prescription for soul peace in troubled times.’

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Mr Matthew McMahon


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Magdalene Shines - More to come...

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Over the last five weeks, Year 10 students have been attempting Minimum Standards Testing for Reading, Writing and Numeracy. 63 students successfully completed their Reading test, 55 students successfully completed their Writing test and 47 students successfully completed their Numeracy test. This achievement will be acknowledged at Year Meetings early next term.

The students who were not successful or did not attempt their tests are invited to participate in programs during Homeroom on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings next term. A letter will be given to these students to advise what the arrangements will be. Most students have the opportunity to reattempt this test in Term 3 or Term 4 and again next year where needed.

Any further information about this testing or follow up programs can be obtained through the school by contacting Mrs Peiti Haines, Curriculum Coordinator.


On 15 June, seven Year 11 students attended the Homeless Hub function at the Campbelltown Civic Centre. All the services to people in need come together at the centre to offer assistance from housing to medical checks and free haircuts. Our students, Tiahna Whitley, Zoe Wade, Annabelle Azzi, Emily Saysanavongpeth, Madyson Kenny, Isabella Wiggins and Adrianna Zoric assisted Vinnies to serve meals to all customers and service people. The students have kept up the good name of Magdalene in the community by their sensitive approach to all they assisted. The organisers publicly thanked our students and they were given a rousing ovation by all present. Congratulations to our community conscious students.
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On Friday the 15th June four year 11 students (Matthew Georgievski, Ryan Thomas, Blake Muchmore, Dominic Manno) attended a STEM enrichment day (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) at the University of Technology in Sydney.

The day focused on learning about the career options in STEM and Engineering offered at UTS. The students took part in hands-on workshops, spoke with people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics industries.

Mr Danny Avalos

Learning Technologies Coordinator

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With lab coats and safety glasses donned Magdalene Year 11 & 12 Chemistry students took on students from Oran Park, Mount Carmel, Fairvale and Thomas Reddall High School to see who was the most accurate!

The competition involved teams of 3 students working together to determine the acidity of an unknown solution. Through furrowed brow and dripping sweat students laboured for 1 ½ hours.

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In the end there can only be one! Students from Oran Park were successful on the day, taking out first place, with Fairvale taking out second and third respectively. Magdalene students worked well and should be congratulated on their efforts.
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What’s the GO in Science?

  • Year 7 are studying the States of Matter

  • Year 8 are studying Body Systems

  • Year 9 are studying Energy

  • Year 10 are studying Biology or Chemistry


Have you ever wondered why 0.99999.... is equal to 1?

Charlie in Year 7 has come up with an excellent explanation to this interesting question. Watch her explain it here!

Well done Charlie!

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We would like to congratulate Christina David for submitting this video as an entry to the Choose Maths Awards 2018.

This competition gives students the opportunity to create a short video explaining why our world needs Maths.

Christina has been working hard on maintaining all of her subjects while being extended in Mathematics and completing the video for the competition. We wish her all the best for her chances in the competition.

Mr V. Iacono

Year 12 Mock Examination Trials:

During the holidays, Year 12 students will have the opportunity to sit a Mock Trial paper in Extension 1, Mathematics and General Mathematics. These trials will be held in the second week of the holidays. This experience will be invaluable in helping the students build confidence in sitting such exams, prior to the Trials and HSC in the coming weeks. They will also have the opportunity to use the feedback provided in finding the topics they should shift their focus to for their preparation.

All students are strongly advised to take up this opportunity.

I would like to thank the teachers in advance who are taking the time out to attend and provide support to our students during the holidays.

Details will be sent out to all students shortly.

Mrs R Pickles

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On the 30th of May, the Year 11 Drama class went on an excursion to Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre to watch a performance of the play Stolen; a play exploring the repercussions of the Stolen Generation on the Aboriginal population.

The Year 11 Drama students arrived at Campbelltown station at 7:30am and boarded the train headed for Parramatta. On arrival at the theatre we were taken into the Riverside theatre and were lucky to be seated 4 rows from the front of the stage. The actors were already on stage calmly weaving baskets, building and creating props for the performance. Students from the audience were encouraged to assist the actors and this provided Paris, Yasmine, Isabella and Elisabeth from our class, an opportunity to emerge themselves into the world of the play before a word was spoken.

The play was a powerful presentation of the effects of the Stolen Generation and the anguish, heartbreak and devastation this caused for so many children and their families. Stolen sketches the stories of five children taken from their families in early childhood and the impact this has on their lives and those of their families. The main link between the five characters is that they were all ‘stolen’ and placed in a children’s home, although not necessarily at the same time. In many scenes they interact as though they were there together.

Five actors transformed into numerous roles, seamlessly creating scenes that were not only poignant and upsetting but also comic to help lighten what was a very disturbing part of Australia’s history.

The play ran for about 90 minutes. The elements of production were engaging with the lighting, sound, music, set design, props and costumes. At the conclusion of the play, the actors and director came onto the stage for an interactive question and answer session for the student audience. This was excellent to reinforce the director’s vision, the theatrical decisions made and the historical need to acknowledge such a distressing and sad part of our nation’s past.

To be able to attend a production of a play that we will be studying for our HSC in Term 4 this year was so beneficial and rewarding.

Stolen is an important aspect of the fabric of our Australian history and so completely relevant today as it was when it was first produced in 1998.

Travis Clark

Year 11 Drama
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Year 7 – Coping with Change and Building Resilience

As Year 7 finish off their second term of high school it is important to reflect on

the significant change they have experienced. Change is a normal part of life but

sometimes dealing with change can be uncomfortable, stressful or even scary. It

is critical that children develop resilience. Resilience is important for children’s

mental health. Children with greater resilience are better able to manage stress,

which is a common response to difficult events.

When we talk about resilience, we’re talking about a child’s ability to cope with

ups and downs, and bounce back from the challenges they experience during

childhood – for example moving home, changing schools, studying for an exam or

dealing with the death of a loved one.

According to BeyondBlue, there are five areas that offer the best chance for

building resilience in children.

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As a parent, carer, or significant adult, you can help to develop essential skills, habits and attitudes for building resilience at home by helping your child to:

· Build good relationships with others including adults and peers

· Build their independence

· Learn to identify, express and manage their emotions

· Build their confidence by taking on personal challenges

There are some simple things you can do to build your child’s resilience in these areas. However, I’d like to focus on one of the five areas; ‘learn to identify, express and manage their emotions’. BeyondBlue recommend to:

· Encourage your child to talk about their feelings

· Help your child regulate emotions

· Talk to your child about preparing for events

· Help your child understand that difficult times are a normal part of life

For more information on building resilience I encourage you to visit the following website:

Mr Tim Manns
Year 7 Coordinator

message from the ceo


Dear Parents and Carers,

Recently there has been a lot of conversation in our primary and secondary school communities around technology, video games and young people. While this is not a new issue, the recently released game "Fortnite" has been under the spotlight in the media. Extreme examples which you may have seen or heard about include young people exhibiting addictive and aggressive behaviours in response to the game.

While the game is not too different to many other fantasy strategic adventure video games available on the market, it does come with an M rating, meaning its target audience is children aged 12 years and over due to violent themes. According to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, it is recommended that young people aged 5 to 17 years should engage in less than 2 hours a day of entertainment screen time. As a caregiver, you have a key role in monitoring this, and helping your child manage their online time via the following strategies.

We are aware many children in our school communities aged above and below 12 are playing this game, and so wanted to share the following information:

Tips to Support You and Your Child

Get involved

· Talk regularly with your child about their gaming interests and who they play with online. Help them understand the risks of excessive gaming.

· Play alongside your child to get a better sense of how they are handling their personal information and who they are communicating with.

· Alternatively, sit with your child and listen to the conversations your child engages in, to determine if you are comfortable with the language and topics of conversation that are occurring


· Establish rules well in advance about gaming use, including time limits, personal information they should not share and designate where they can play. Locate the computer or games console in an open area of your home (or if they are playing on their hand held device get them to do it in the family room).

· This step includes setting up what consequences will entail should they break the rules. It is okay for a consequence to include removal of the device for a specified time period.

· Agree on strategies for them to switch off, like a timer that signals that game time is nearly over, and the consequences for not switching off.

· Keeping in mind that games can be of unpredictable length, and depending on where they are in the game, being asked to turn it off immediately, may be akin to turning a sports game off half way through. To avoid the high chance of conflict in this situation, communication, and flexibility are key. It may involve a 10-minute warning rather than ending suddenly, or you sitting with your child as they finish the task, and turning it off after it is completed.

· Install current security software on all devices to protect against viruses, malware and other online threats, and teach your kids not to click on links provided by strangers, like cheat programs to help with game play.

· Activate parental controls and settings to restrict access to certain sites and content and to help prevent any excessive spending on in-game and in-app purchases.


· Monitor the time your child spends online and keep a look out for any changes in your child’s activity, school or social behaviours.

· Encourage your child to tell you if they are being cyberbullied or if another user is making them uncomfortable – they can ‘block’ players or report any threatening or suspicious behaviour to the game’s administrators

If you are concerned about changes in your child's mood, behaviour, or bullying, it is appropriate to consult with your school, school counsellor or other health professional.


· Provide your child with strategies to deal with negative online experiences

· Encourage good sportsmanship when your child is playing the game with peers from school, and that being a team player is far more important than winning or losing.

For more tips about gaming and internet use, please see the Office of the eSafety Commissioner website


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For the 3rd year in a row, our Year 9 MISA netball team have become the undefeated premiers of the competition! Congratulations on a wonderful effort!
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Congratulations to the 2 victorious boys soccer teams in MISA this term. Yr 7 coached by Mr Tim Manns and Yrs 8-9 coached by Mr Matthew Bubb. Both teams played consistently well throughout the term and went through undefeated.
Congratulations also to our Year 10 -11 Girls Netball team - undefeated champions! A fantastic effort!
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Congratulations to Adam Farkas who was selected into the U16s NSW Soccer Team.

He will be representing NSW at the national competition held in Shepparton, Victoria from 25-31 August.

Good luck Adam!

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Brady Polkinghorne (10D) will be competing in the National Indoor Cricket Tournament playing for NSW in the Under 16's in Toowoomba, Queensland during the first week of the July school holidays.

Brady successfully made it to the NSW team by also playing in his district team, the Macarthur Raptors, for the last 3 years. He has achieved great results batting and bowling, with bowling figures of 5 wickets for 30 runs and scoring a batting partnership of 80 runs.

Brady also plays outdoor cricket and has been selected to play in a number of NSW games and also Green Shield Under 16's played in the summer school holidays.

We wish Brady good luck for his tournament in Queensland!

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In more great sporting news, Luke Small and Koby King recently qualified for the CCC Cross Country team, Luke Small winning his event on the day.

Both boys now going to the All-Schools Cross Country event at Eastern Creek on July 27.

We wish Luke and Koby the best of luck!

Here's Koby below celebrating his success!

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Corbin Elphinstone of Year 8 will be competing in the NSW Inter schools Winter Sports Competition during the coming school holidays – July 2018.

Corbin will be representing Magdalene Catholic High School in events for Snowboarding on the 10th July at Thredbo NSW.

The below picture is of Corbin last year competing in the same event representing Magdalene Catholic High School.

We wish Corbin all the very best for a safe and successful competition!

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misa dance festival

On Tuesday the 26th June 48 students from Years 7 to 12 attended the Annual MISA Dance Festival. The day was full of excited and nervous kids, as we arrived at school with full stage hair and makeup completed before we got on the bus to The Cube. We arrived to be seated with 16 other MISA representative schools who also participated in the day.

Magdalene was lucky enough to be placed in the second session allowing us to watch many performers before and after us. It was then our time to shine as we took to the stage in our dance “Are you ready for it?”. Our performance showcased a range of styles and highlighted many talents across the team.The range of styles were put together into a performance they we were all very proud to perform.

We were incredibly luckily to have a significant amount of support from all of our family and friends who attended the event, as well Mr McMahon who watched our performance and closed the day with a principal’s address.

The 2018 MISA Dance Team would like to thank Miss Cupillari for attending the festival with us, and a huge thank you to Mrs Durrant for choreographing such an amazing routine and working with us each week during sport for the last 6 months to create something that we loved so much, your work didn’t go unnoticed.

On behalf of Mrs Durrant she would like to thank her wonderful dance captains Lacey Boss and Annalise Smalley for their assistance all year. Without their support this wonderful routine would not of come together.

Overall, the 2018 MISA Dance Festival was a great day and everyone in the team had a memorable day representing our school on stage!

Annalise Smalley Year 12

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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

Keep up to date with what's going on!