Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 4 Week 3 - 2 November 2018

Principal's Blog

As we move to become a College next year a great opportunity has been provided to reflect on who we are and what we stand for.

Staff have been working collaboratively over the last two years to re-energise some key documents which stand at the heart of what we believe to be important and our actions that stem from these beliefs.

As such, I am excited to share several items with you in today’s newsletter.


Firstly, our revised Vision Statement identifies exactly our vision for the College’s future. You will note that it not only places “quality Catholic learning and teaching” front and centre, but it also stresses both academic and student wellbeing.


We strive to be a College known for our quality Catholic learning and teaching. This includes our concern for student wellbeing, academic care of all students, and our emphasis on helping students live out the Gospel message so that they can make meaningful contributions to their world.

Our revised Mission Statement articulates what we do on a daily basis. Central to this is of course Mary Magdalene and particular emphasis is placed on ‘Living out the Gospel Message’, ‘Making meaningful contributions’, ‘Wellbeing for life’ and ‘academic success for all’.


Magdalene Catholic College provides a co-educational environment which has students at the centre. Our community is a place where lifelong holistic growth is valued by fostering high expectations, quality relationships and academic success for all. We develop courageous hearts and creative minds and we are committed to all of these aspects because, like our patron, Saint Mary Magdalene, we have "seen the Lord".


While the seven core values the School had been operating with had their time and purpose, a reduction of these to four and a very strategic refocus has allowed learning to become central whilst also maintaining our focus on Jesus, individual relationships and wellbeing.


Like Mary Magdalene, we recognise the importance of being a witness to the Risen Lord. As such, discipleship and service are key to what we do. Not only are the teachings of Christ and the traditions of our faith embedded into our curriculum, but so too are opportunities for our students to: (1) encounter, know and love their God, and (2) actively support those in need. Through emphasising compassion and empathy, students are encouraged to put their faith in action and become positive agents of change – making significant contributions towards others, their world and those on the margins of society.


We value the provision of Quality Catholic Education and our student-centred environment instils a love of lifelong learning. Through such a passion for learning, in a safe and positive learning environment, our students are equipped with skills of critical thinking and analysis. To facilitate this, each student has the right to learn and, by extension, no student has the right to negatively impact on another’s learning. Disciplined habits, imaginative thinking and creativity are emphasised to problem-solve, evaluate, innovate and reach evidence-based conclusions.


We regard quality relationships as essential to maximising personal growth and learning outcomes. Underpinning these relationships are dignity and respect; for one’s self and others. By showing genuine concern and interest for each individual (including interactions between students, teachers and parents), meaningful connections can be established and outcomes enhanced (be they academic, sporting, spiritual or cultural). Like Jesus, we believe in a hope-filled future and, by instilling His values into daily thought and action, we challenge students to be self-aware and the best that they can be.


We commit to being the best version of ourselves by making the most of our God-given gifts and abilities (both known and yet to be discovered). We strive towards achieving individual goals and value the power of self-reflection, feedback and developing resilience. Having high expectations of ourselves across all domains is critical, and consequently, it is each student’s right that every staff member demands high standards of student behaviour, a commitment towards learning and a desire to achieve one’s best. We promote the importance of wellbeing and having a positive mindset.


Documents, and the words used within them, mean very little if we do nothing with them. If these Vision, Mission and Core Values documents simply sit on our website, or simply grace some glossy documents that we produce in the future, then they are pointless.

The way forward is to make these words and concepts which we commit to, become part of our everyday language and part of the mindframe of staff and students like.

I invite comment on any of the ideas shared and am very energised and excited about bringing these ideas to life in the day-to-day workings at Magdalene Catholic College from 2019.


The move to a College also sees a chance for some slight tweaks to our existing logos and crests. I think you will agree the following images are modern, fresh and have a really nice acknowledgement of our previous logos. Importantly, key aspects of previous crests/logos have been maintained and do not change any messages which we wish to emphasise.

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This stated, I am happy to receive any feedback through the following email:


Prayer for All Saints Day

Dear God,

Thank you for the example of the Saints.

I desire to join in their company, worshipping you forever in Heaven.

Please help me follow their footsteps, an yours, Jesus Christ.

Please help me to devote myself, and all that I do, to Your glory, and to the service of my neighbours.


Mr Matthew McMahon


Administration of Medication at School

Please be aware that the "Administration of Medication School Policy" has been reviewed by the Catholic Education Office. Below are a number of points which have been reviewed. The full policy is available under this article.

  • Parent/Carers are asked to complete a Request to Administer Medication Form for all medication (prescription or Other-The-Counter)

  • Prescription medication is to be provided to the school in the original container with the pharmacy label attached to the container

  • Over-The-Counter medication (eg Panadol) should only be administered if it is provided by the parent/carer in the original container with a completed Request to Administer Medication Form which has been signed by a doctor and includes a practice stamp

  • Action Plans (Asthma and Anaphylaxis) should be updated on an annual basis, or following a medical episode, or requested by the school

Request to Administer Medication Forms are available from the school office.

Diocesan Robotics Competition

The finals of the Diocesan Robotics competition were held at the Campbelltown Catholic Club tonight and Magdalene students were once again victorious.

All the students have been working extremely since they won the regional competition.

When you see them please congratulate them on a fantastic effort.

First place in Sumo challenge (see video below)

Declan Bone-Wright 7H

Cameron Corr 7D

First place - So you think you can dance challenge

Charlie Roberts 7S

Kate Williams 7W

Second place - So you think you can dance challenge

Sophia Wolf 7W

Cynthia David 7H

You can read about the day further at :
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Spotlight on Technology 2018

Our school has been well represented by students at the Spotlight on Technology Conference. Today, 26 October, Alex Honan and Mitchell Phipps (Year 10) were part of student panel answering questions about their education and what their plans and vision are for the future. Both Alex and Mitchell spoke extremely well and clearly articulated their vision and spoke positively on the work that their teachers are doing in preparing them for the future.
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Space Launch - The Big Equation - Present at Spotlight

Space, robots, the future and STEM was all the talk of the day at the biannual Spotlight on Technology event, which showcases STEM in schools and how it can be implemented into classrooms in our Diocese.

On 25th October, the Diocese of Wollongong’s Spotlight conference was held at the Campbelltown Catholic Club and Magdalene’s 2016 Spotlight winners, the Big Equation, were invited to speak our current STEM project at this exciting event. Our team, which is made up of Isabella Pejkovic (10W), Josh Nies (10M), Michael Fuller (10B), Hayden Richards (10W) and Larissa Hooper (10D), won the 2016 Spotlight Mission to Space competition and we have been selected to design, construct and program the Diocese’s maiden high-altitude space balloon launch.

Our day at the conference began with setting up our own exhibition display in the main conference room, which showcased our non-electrical experiments, past and current designs, prototype space probes and photos from the past two years. Our first workshop of the day was based around Microbits and how they can be used. The MicroBit is a pocket-sized computer which can be coded to create games, sing songs or play Tetris. Every person had their own Microbit to put together and program to do different challenges.

Next, we got to meet Australia’s only astronaut, Dr Andy Thomas and listen to his spectacular journey from a boy from Adelaide to going to space. Dr Andy Thomas spoke about his work as an aerospace engineer and his role at NASA on the Discovery and Endeavour space shuttle missions. Dr Thomas’ story was inspiring and as a STEM team, we got to learn more about NASA, astronomy and the conditions of space. Following morning tea, our team went to the ‘Creativity on the iPad’ workshop where we learnt how to enhance our photography, video editing and drawing skills on the iPad.

At 1.30pm, it was our time to shine as we shared our journey and work with the many teachers and special guests who were at the Spotlight18 conference. Through a KeyNote presentation, we vividly spoke about our journey from 2016 to now, our individual roles and challenges, and what we hope to get out of the space probe launch. We are so happy to see so many of the Diocese’s teachers and staff members engaged and asking us questions about ourselves, our project, our team and our future. Following our presentation, the team attended the ‘Aeronautical Velocity Challenge’ where we had to build and fly our own plane on a Power Anchor. We got to race our planes against each other and some of the other teachers and Diocese of Wollongong staff who were at the workshop.

The Big Equation would like to thank Mrs Brislane for looking after us during the conference, Mr Collins for being our amazing and supportive team sponsor, and the Diocese’s Spotlight conference team for inviting us to speak and allowing us to spend the day there. We learnt a lot from getting involved in the hands-on workshops, listening to heartening talks and meeting many of the remarkable teachers in our Diocesean schools. To follow our journey, you can follow us on Twitter, @BigEquation16, or on Instagram, @thebigequation_dow.

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Music News

On Tuesday evening Mr O'Donnell and William Kiss (of Year 10) attended a guitar masterclass conducted by one of Australia's most prominent guitarists, Michael Dolce. Michael is the guitarist on Channel 9's "The Voice" but also tours and records with such Australian artists such as Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, The Madden Brothers, Kelly Rowland, Ronan Keating and many more.

The purpose of the class was to extend our playing skills on the guitar through improvisation and creative development. Some of the concepts were very challenging and the standard of musicianship of both Michael Dolce and the other students in the room was extremely high. To improvise in this environment is a very daunting task but William rose to the occasion receiving extensive praise from Michael.

Now the real work begins practising and implementing what we learned in the class into our playing. Congratulations William on a job well done.

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Sport News

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Girls Dio AFL

On the 25/10/2018, 17 talented Magdalene students represented the School at the Diocesan Girls AFL Carnival. These girls all represented the school with great pride and worked hard for each other all day.

The girls came from a range of experiences with AFL. A few girls have played outside of school, about a dozen also playing in the MISA AFL competition and some had never played before but showed significant promise in the School trials. These girls came together straight away and flew through the group games undefeated.

In Game 1 we played Mount Carmel, winning 13-2. In Game 2 we played St Patricks, winning, 25-2. In Game 3 we played St Johns, winning 15-6. And in Game 4 we played St Benedicts, winning 20-0. This undefeated run gave the girls great confidence going into the Semi-Finals. Finishing at the top of our group we were scheduled to play the second place in Group B, St Marys.

The Semi-Final was a very competitive game. Possession was hard to keep and the girls kept up their intensity and made some excellent transitions from the ruck to supporting players to score 2 crucial goals. One big moment in the match being when Scarlett Crimmins cleared the ball to a sprinting Isabella Lawrence, who picked the ball up and kicked the decisive goal just out of arms reach of the opponents. The final score being 12-1.

Onto the Grand Final, our opponents were Holy Spirit, also undefeated. This game was the toughest opponents of the day for the girls. Holy Spirit started off very strong, kicking two goals to race to a 12-0 lead. To the Magdalene girls credit, they continued to up their intensity making crucial tackles and closing down key Holy spirit players. Ella-Jane Jordan and Scarlett Crimmins continued to show their strength in reading the play and putting pressure on their opponents. The score could have easily been widened if not for the great defensive work of Jasmine McAllister and Emily Cooke. Kayla Parreno displayed her strong skills just prior to the half by scoring a goal, making the score 12-6 at half-time. In the second half, the Magdalene girls controlled every second. Jaimee Kitchener piling on the pressure narrowly missing several times as the Magdalene girls were closing in on Holy Spirit. With less than five minutes to go the elusive Amalia Plummer stepped off her famous left foot and slotted home a goal to take Magdalene into the lead, 16-12. The girls continued to lift not giving Holy Spirit a chance with some well-controlled play until the final minutes ticked over.

I want to congratulate the girls on their excellent work ethic and maturity shown at the carnival. They were definitely well deserved Diocesan Champions and should be very proud of their efforts. Well Done Girls.


Tayla Lawrence, Jaimee Kitchener, Scarlett Crimmins, Jasmine McAllister, Ella-Jane Jordan, Jessica Kourembes, Paige Holdsworth, Kaitlyn Myers, Chanell Reynolds, Emily Cooke, Olivia Farrell, Maddison Sanchez-Young, Laila Searle, Kayla Parreno, Amalia Plummer, Madison Hamilton and Isabella Lawrence

Kind regards,

Mr Matthew Bubb

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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

Student Opal Cards for 2019

School student applications for 2019 open from Monday, 15 October 2018.

Students progressing to Year 3 and Year 7 do not need to re-apply if they:

· are continuing at the same school; and

· are residing at the same address; and

· have not been sent an expiry notification from Transport for NSW.

Where a student meets the new distance eligibility, the system will automatically update their entitlement. If they do not meet the new eligibility, they will receive an expiry notification.

Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition which is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.

Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply.

If students need to update their information or re-apply, they should go online to

Applications need to be submitted before 31 December 2018 to ensure student entitlements are updated and their current entitlement/card is not cancelled. If their application is submitted after 31 December 2018, the system will automatically cancel a card and a new one will need to be issued.

Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out during December 2018 and January 2019.


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