- FROM THE PRINCIPAL
- SCHOOL COUNSELLOR SERVICE
- SOCIAL MEDIA - KEEPING YOUR TWEENS SAFE ONLINE.
- eSafety WEBINARS FOR PARENTS & CARERS
- FROM THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION COORDINATOR
- THE SEASON OF LENT
- SWIMMING CARNIVAL RESULTS
- LIBRARY NEWS
- SPANISH WITH YEAR 8
- FACEBOOK - LIKE & SHARE!
- CAUGHT ON THE SCHOOL CAMERA THIS WEEK
- COMMUNITY UP AND COMINGS
Dear McAuley Families
I thought it would be good to share the Opening Mass speech I presented last week as part of this week’s Newsletter. Due to COVID regulations we could not have as many family and community members attend as we would have liked. Thanks to those who were able to come along and enjoy a beautiful and prayerful start to the year.
“It seems unbelievable that I stand here for my second year as Principal of this fine school as so much has happened in the last 12 or 13 months.
As last year was coming to an end I often heard people say things like “… 2021 will be better…” “I hope that next year won’t be same…“We hope that things will get back to normal…” Common to those thoughts was the word “hope”. I know all of us sitting here feel the same way about the year to come.
What is “hope…?” In 1991 a researcher called Snyder wrote a definition for hope calling it a “goal directed determination and planning to get there…” So, hope means doing something. Hope involves a commitment and a plan… “I hope I’m going to get good marks this semester…” means that we plan to work hard to get there and achieve our goals.
As people of faith that also means that we believe in ourselves and in our God. Catherine McAuley herself said “… put all your faith in God.” In our prayers and petitions we believe that God will support us in our struggles and provide us with the strength we need. We need to believe in others…because when we show trust in other people they will show trust in us. These are our hopes for the year. These are core foundations that I want us to build in our school in 2021.
We hope to make efforts not only to improve in the areas we set goals, in but to hone and sharpen the skills we have already. Catherine McAuley says “… resolve to be good today but better tomorrow…” and “… we can never say it is enough…” Our motto says we “strive” so we build in ourselves lifelong habits. We build on courage, strength and confidence. We have already proven in 2020 that we are people of resilience who can overcome amazing adversity. We did that together which was a remarkable achievement.
I quote “…the truth is that teamwork is at the heart of great success…” As I have said to many of you, let’s make the mark of this place the way we are seen to treat each other. Let’s show the local community that we are a team and a school who supports, challenges, encourages, believes and strives for one another to achieve. A team who shows the Mercy values to every student, every family and every visitor. Let’s believe and strive and achieve what Catherine McAuley prayed for establishing the Sisters of Mercy. She hoped and dreamed and worked so that Mercy convents and schools would be welcoming places… “places that were cordial…places that renewed, invigorated and warmed others…”. This year we hope to focus on strengthening and building relationships, to show gratitude to those who work to serve us and most importantly to listen and be present for one another.
The Mercy sisters last year released a document about “hope in the time of the pandemic” (www.mercyworld.org) modelled on the persistence and resilience of Catherine McAuley who worked to achieve her goals against great opposition and challenge. A Mercy sister from Ireland gives us a foundation for our year of hope in 2021 when she says “… we need precious time to listen to heal and to comfort… never before has this world and the peoples who live on it been in more need of an experience of Mercy…”
May we all work to believe, strive and achieve that goal as we begin the twenty first year of the twenty first century as a year of hope and expectation.”
Staffing News: We are now fully staffed and have covered all vacancies on both campuses for the year. We welcome Ms Cat Dawson (Miss D) to the staff of the Primary Campus. Cat will work with Year 1B on Monday and Tuesday to relieve Ms Boxall for her Coordinator and coaching roles. She will also teach Religious Education lessons to Kinder. I know you will make Cat very welcome to our community and will enjoy her flair and flexibility as a teacher.
Congratulations: Best wishes to our swim teams from Primary and Secondary School who are competing at various carnivals in the coming days and weeks. Our carnival saw a few records broken – well done. Please see elsewhere in our Newsletter for more specific details.
School Fees: Term 1 Fee accounts have been sent home. Please always remember that a portion of our fees are retained by the school for various resource and capital works programs. With supplementation from Community Council fundraising we aim to be able to continue with improvements to our grounds and facilities. A higher payment rate simply means we have more funds to allocate for the benefit of all students.
Never hesitate to contact me confidentially should fee payments become a problem for your family.
Community Council AGM: Reminder about our Council AGM and election of office bearers to be held on Thursday 18 March at 5.00pm.
COVID Update: An email was sent on Monday this week notifying families of the need to let us know if school students had returned from Victoria after 11.59pm on Friday 12 February. Please ensure compliance with these restrictions and encourage higher level hygiene practices in your family and home.
Building Update: We are still awaiting final sign off on the BGA project and are ‘ready to go’ for the works in the Primary School. We are also extremely hopeful that the Administration building will have extensive external and internal roofing repairs over the holiday break thanks to Catholic Education.
Student Safety: We are lucky to have the services of a Crossing Officer in the morning and afternoons on the busy Capper Street. All students and carers are to obey the instructions of the officer (Ron).
Please do not ignore his requests to stop and wait. It is very dangerous to call children across the road against the flow of traffic and gives a bad message. Sadly we have received a couple of complaints and concerns in the last few weeks.
We have also noticed some parents are parking on the nature-strip in and around Carey Street. This is illegal and the Police will issue infringement notices.
Mary our Mother… Look after us.
Eamonn Moore, Principal.
As part of the pastoral care program for students, McAuley has access to a Student and Family Counselling service provided by CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn (CCG). CCG are contracted to McAuley to provide a counselling service to students and their families. There is no fee to access this service.
The role of the counsellor is to focus on the emotional, social and educational well-being of the students. Counsellors welcome contact with students having difficulty with some part of their life, whether or not it affects their school work. The problem does not have to be a big one. It is better to seek help sooner than later. Some typical concerns that counsellors work with include: anger, anxiety, behavioural problems, depression, eating problems, family breakdown and family conflict, grief and loss, learning and educational challenges, parenting challenges, peer and other social relationships, school avoidance, stress and study skills. As well as individual sessions with students, counsellors can run groups, do family work, consult with parents and teachers and make referrals to other services and supports. If the Counsellor believes the support for the student is beyond their scope of expertise, they will suggest referrals for specialist services. Counsellors also do not provide cognitive or learning assessments or court reports. Families requiring these will be referred to another service.
2021 has seen some changes to the school counselling service. The biggest change relates to consent and permission. Parent consent is now required for all students under 14 years of age, consent will be sought and provided via email. The other major change is how to make an appointment. Referrals and requests can be made by completing the online referral form accessed from the following link:
When your child reaches 10 – 11yrs (or even earlier), they may start asking for their first smartphone and to use social media. So here are ten things to keep your Tweens safe online:
- If your child is asking for a phone, make sure that you get them to do a little presentation, or write a small project sheet, on a topic of cyber safety every week in the lead up to getting their phone.
- Think about the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13yrs with their parents’ permission. But they need to remember to update their age on any site that has asked for it when they actually turn 13yrs. Like Facebook, for example. This way, the app will not think they are older. As an extreme example…if your child signs up to use Facebook when they are 10yrs, and they have to lie and say they are 13yrs…so by the time they are 15yrs if they haven’t adjusted the year they were born, the app will think they are 18yrs. Then they can get a Tinder account as it relies on Facebook for verification!
- Teach your kids to think twice before they accept a friend request. Just because someone is a friend of their big brother or sister or cousin who goes to another school does not mean they should let them into their life.
- Engage with them about their favourite social media app and get them to teach you about it so you can at least know the basics. Get them to show you how to block and report so you can be sure they know how too.
- Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check. There is no use banning the phones from bedrooms if you go to bed with yours each night, for example.
- Help them to check and manage privacy settings. This is something you can do together when they are younger by making it a shared experience.
- Think twice before “sharenting.” Do not post photos of your kids in school uniform or school events or holding certificates with their full name and school name on it. You are letting the whole world know where they go to school. This can happen by “checking in” or geotagging a school as well.
- Ask them first when you are about to share their photo. Let your kids be involved in the decision making on whether they are ok with you posting a photo of them or not as young as possible. This will teach them to ask others first before they post pictures as they grow up.
- Put healthy boundaries in place. Don’t ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something totally unrelated to their device. Do not take it off them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared either. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use.
- Respect the classifications. The average age of a gamer is 35yrs old. Classifications are there for a reason. It is not ok for a child under the age of 18yrs to be playing R Rated games…even with their parents!!! If your child is playing online games, set healthy boundaries around time playing as well. All of the other tips above also apply to gaming.
Anita Mason, Religious Education Coordinator.
The eSafety commission is running free webinars for parents and carers at lunchtimes (12:30-1:30pm) and in the evenings (7:30-8.30pm) on various dates. Currently running: “Parents guide to cyberbullying and online drama”
For available dates and to register go to https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/webinars
McAuley Mercy Awards
The new Student Welfare Policy highlights the many positive actions of our K-10 students. The staff are acknowledging these actions with presenting students 'Mercy Awards'. Once a student has received 10 Mercy awards, they are presented with a McAuley Bronze Award in recognition of these positive actions. Once they have achieved a Bronze Award they can continue to a Silver and then a Gold Award though receiving more Mercy awards. Each ten Mercy Awards progresses them to a new award level.
McAuley Catholic Central School has an Integrating Focus each term, which is based on the Mercy Values and Catholic Social Teachings.
An Education in Mercy tradition invites us to take up the challenge-one that encourages us to develop fully our own God given talents.
'At the same time, it enkindles within us a desire to assist others, so that they too 'may have life, and have it to the full' —John 10:10
The Catholic Church teaches that all human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation for all the social teachings.
‘Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbour to the robbers’ victim?’ He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ —Luke 10:36–37
The aim of the Integrating Focus is to develop the students understanding of the our school's Mercy values and Catholic Social Justice teachings through learning about the life and actions of an appropriate role model.
This term we are looking at the Mercy value of Spirit of Service through the actions of Kevin and Rhonda Butler as they are the founders of BlazeAid. BlazeAid was created to support people who have been affected by bushfires. Blazeaid’s Mission is .. not just rebuilding fences, but helping to rebuild lives.
During Lent, we reflect on Jesus’ struggle to choose life in the wilderness and hold onto what mattered most to him, we are invited to reflect on what we choose to hold onto and what we dare to let go of in our own life’s journey.
Let us pray, Sustaining God, you are the source of true life. We pray today that you grace us with the courage to choose the things that will bring us to freedom and peace. May we always be open to your call to life and may we meet it with generosity and graciousness. We make this prayer in union with your Spirit in Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of lent. The students and staff gathered together on Shrove Tuesday 16th February to burn palms which were blessed and used during Palm Sunday last year. The ashes that were produced were blessed with holy water at the Ash Wednesday Mass. Well done school leaders who presented the short but lovely Ceremony.
What a great day last Monday when our annual McAuley Swimming Carnival (after a rain delayed start to our Carnival the Friday before) was held in glorious sunshine. Please refer to official results above where long standing records were smashed by several students.
It really was a day of participation and wonderful spirit. Congratulations to all involved in such a terrific day.
After selection from great results at this Carnival, McAuley Primary was represented by 19 keen swimmers in West Wyalong at the Western Region Swimming Carnival. The Western Region is made up of 12 schools from our Archdiocesan and from this carnival the Western Region Team is selected to swim at the Archdiocesan Swimming Carnival.
All of our McAuley swimmers performed well, with 12 of the 19 swimmers improving times from our school carnival. Ashton Ambrose, Ethan Buckley, Isabella Oliver, Chloe Pearce, Henry Piper and Macy White all finished in the top four in at least one of their events and will now swim at the Arch Carnival in Narooma on the 1st of March.
Macy White and Ashton Ambrose were awarded runner-up trophies in their age groups, a great achievement and reward for all the training they put into their swimming.
St Mary’s, Young, was the most successful school on the day taking home the champion trophy, with St Joseph’s, Boorowa, runners up. McAuley finished in a respectable 4th position.
Thanks goes to Anna Stubbs for managing our school team on the day. We thank parents for transporting our team to and from West Wyalong and also extend our thanks to the parents and big brothers, William and Jacob, who helped out with time keeping.
McAuley’s Western Region Swimm Team consisted of: Ashton Ambrose, Cooper Ambrose, Eric Bartlett, Brad Beavan, Ethan Buckley, Samuel Buckley, Zoe Carter, Alex Crowe, Paige Kelly, Isabella Oliver, Chloe Pearce, Joe Pearce, Henry Piper, Sidney Roche, Billy Roche, Alice Webb, Sophie Webb and Macy White. Well done kids!
Our Secondary students will represent our Region at the Archdiocesan Swimming Carnival which will be held in Goulburn on March 2nd. Best of luck to all students who qualified for this carnival.
Leigh Hobbs' famous character, Mr Chicken, has been the focus of Year 2 this term in Library lessons, with the class learning how to pronounce French and Italian words as they travel around the globe with Mr Chicken. Learning how to draw the famous bird last week, the students created their own pop-art inspired work on Tuesday.
BOOK-CLUB: Optional Book-Club pamphlets were sent home with children last week. Orders close on 26th Feb. These MUST be ordered on-line. No cash orders will be accepted.
-Kirsty Roche, Librarian.
Students from Year 8 are undertaking an exciting new language program this year with weekly tutoring sessions from native speakers in Columbia. The Meg Language program will focus on building the speech side of the student's Spanish and incorporates the cultural aspect of Spanish speaking South America. Each Monday both classes will link up via a Zoom meeting with their Bogota tutors to learn Spanish phrases and interact with native speakers.
Year 82 celebrated Shrove Tuesday or Martes de Carnaval, as the Spanish call it, by ordering panqueques (pancakes) with miel de maple (maple syrup), fresas (strawberries), arandanos (blueberries), and some delicious huevos de Pascua (Easter eggs) from Senora Roche. Food proved to be the perfect incentive to learn and practice the new words whilst learning about how Spain celebrates holy days.
We use Facebook to celebrate events and showcase student's learning. We are aware that not all parents are on Facebook, however we use it as another source of information and contact. Please let us know you are seeing us on Facebook by liking our posts. Please also remember not to use Facebook to ask specific questions etc - contact by other means is preferred eg: phone, emails and face to face interviews.
TUMUT GIRL GUIDES Would like to invite members of the community to a BBQ on Monday 22nd February at 530pm. The BBQ will be a free event organised by our support group, and is for those who are interested in joining the support group to help raise funds for Tumut Girl Guides. Any funds raised help Tumut Guide leaders and Girl Guides with general costs and equipment required for Guiding pursuits. We will also be celebrating World Thinking Day, the theme this year is Peacebuilding. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. RSVP by the 19th February is essential for catering due to Covid19 regulations.
TUMUT EASTER MARKETS Good Friday, Easter Saturday April 2nd and 3rd. Boys Club Hall in Fitzroy Street Tumut. 9am to 4pm both days. Free entry. Stall bookings from 0419 427 801.
HEADSPACE EDUCATION SESSION FOR PARENTS AND CARERS to support your young person's mental health and wellbeing. This will be held at McAuley Hall on Thursday 25th February at 5pm. Please RSVP to the school if you are coming.
THANK YOU TUMUT DAY VIEW CLUB. Lorraine Symons and Joan Brookes were thrilled to represent their local 'Day VIEW Club' and present a wonderful donation of stationery to our school. Primary School Captains, Hannah and Franz are pictured accepting the donation. Thank you ladies for your ongoing support of McAuley - it is most appreciated.