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Secondary News – Term 2, Week 2

04 May 2022

Term 2, Week 2


Fourth Sunday of Easter is this Sunday. Due to this Gospel reading being about the parable of the Good Shepherd, the Fourth Sunday of Easter is now also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.

This chapter of John’s Gospel follows Jesus’ healing of the man born blind and the rejection of this miracle by Jewish leaders who question Jesus’ authority to heal. Jesus responds to this challenge to his authority by calling himself the Good Shepherd. He is criticizing the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders. Already, the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders are so angered that they attempt to stone and arrest Jesus and this controversy with the religious leaders continues until Jesus’ death.

The image of the shepherd speaks to us about the protection, security, and care that shepherds represent for their sheep, and that Jesus and God have for all of us. This Gospel speaks powerfully about the familiarity and intimacy between Jesus and his disciples, and it also speaks to the relationship between Jesus and the Father. In the Gospel of John, Jesus identifies so closely with the Father that he tells us that they are one—not just close, but actually one. To know Jesus is to know the Father. Jesus doesn’t just bring us closer to the Father, Jesus puts us directly into contact with God the Father, removing all distance between us. Our relationship with Jesus is an invitation to share in the life of God.


We are commencing conversations with our staff and with the students about the topic of ‘What is a work ethic?’ The dictionary definition states it is “a belief in work as a moral good: a set of values centred on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard.” 

It, therefore, seems obvious that this is a good thing and a way to get ahead and succeed in life. It is not about coming first or being the best. It is about setting a standard to be the best you can be and understanding and investigating just what each person is capable of achieving.

This is something that we wish to instil in every one of our students and for them to understand why it is important. It is not good enough to make excuses or to just give up.

So, our conversations at school will be focused on how we develop a strong work ethic at MacKillop. This means that every student will bring their equipment to school, that they will complete work to the best of their ability and that they see difficult tasks as challenges and opportunities to learn and not simply give up or not even attempt the work. We need to look at why students are too frightened to make a mistake so will not offer answers in class or attempt the work.

We need to assist our students to want to be the best they can be and not settle for mediocrity or, even failure rather that try their best and we need all our parents to assist us to ensure this happens.

Throughout this year we are going to survey and discuss why a strong work ethic is not developing in all our students and how we can make changes. At some stage we will be asking parents to meet with us to look at this as well and to go into partnership to continue to encourage those who already are working hard and to assist to make changes for those who struggle with this. Ultimately, we need to support all our children to be the very best they can be.

High Commendation (HC) Assembly:

Last Tuesday we held our HC Assembly for Yrs 7-11. This recognised a student from every class in every subject who the teacher recognised for their hard work and dedication to that subject for Term 1. This is not determined by their marks but by their effort and this makes this award very special. The hardest part about these awards is that there are often many children in the class who are working hard and teachers need to make choices. We have another HC assembly at the beginning of Term 4 each year.

We also recognised the Academic Award placegetters for Yr 12 as they are now halfway through Yr 12, starting in Term 4 last year. These awards recognise 1st, 2nd and 3rd on academic ability in each subject and are also very special and recognise diligence.

Yr 7-11 will be recognised for their academic ability at the end of Term 2 and at the end of the year. Well done to all our prize winners!!

Wellbeing Survey:

Last week Mr Hanrahan spoke to the students about the importance of listening to student voice and the need for the staff to hear their opinions. On Friday last week, all Yr 8-12 completed a Wellbeing Survey that addresses many issues. Yr 7 did this survey this week.

Mr Hanrahan has collated all this information which he will now discuss with all our students so they can see the answers from the student body. As a staff and in student groups we will then look at our strengths and why they are so and then also look at where students identified issues and start to plan for change. Mr Hanrahan will also share the results with parents, so you are also able to see what has been told to us and for you to also be able to discuss this with us.


NAPLAN exams are being completed by Years 7 and 9 this week and next. These capture information about students on one given day, but the results do allow the College to study strengths and weaknesses and use this in our planning of our programs and lessons.

COVID Funding:

Due to the effect of Home-Based Learning the Government has extended the time we have to use their funding to provide extra tutoring for our students.

Mrs Martin will continue with her Literacy Groups who are withdrawn once a week for assistance. We have also moved 2 experienced teachers into classrooms in English and Maths to provide group and individual assistance during class time. So, if your child comes home and says there were 2 teachers in their class today, this is how it is being funded and we are trying to assist as many students as we can. 

The assistance is for everyone if there is a gap in their learning or a need for some further assistance so the student may be working at any level academically. We are truly grateful for this funding to allow us to provide this help.


This week the staff from ELEVATE have been working with Yrs 10 and 9 on Study Skills. Yr 9 looked at Time Management and Yr 10 at specific study skills in a topic called Study Sensei. Pease ask your children about this and what they learnt from these sessions.  The students filled out a questionnaire at the end of each session and the overall response from them is that they give it over a 90% approval rate for what they have learnt and for recommending the sessions to others.


Our Secondary Musical is on this Friday and Saturday Nights. Make sure you do not miss this. See Facebook and the Website on how to book for May 6th and 7th. We wish all our participants ‘to break a leg’ and we thank everyone who is involved.

Mother’s Day Liturgy and Breakfast:

All our mum’s and the significant females in our students’ lives are warmly invited to join us at the COLA on Friday for breakfast from 7.15am. We also hope you can attend our liturgy in the Church starting at 7.30am.


Two of our Yr 12 Leaders attended this camp last week with leaders from all over Australia and NZ who attend Josephite schools. JJAMM stands for Jesus, Joseph and Mary MacKillop and the leaders look at the history of these schools and its charism and also plan how to continue Mary MacKillop’s legacy in our schools. The students also make strong connections with other leaders and often keep in contact with each other well after the camp.

Other Important Dates coming up next week:

  • Mon -Winter Uniform commences and everyone must have a blazer and wear it every day
  • Mon – Bell’s Shakespeare performing for Yrs 8, 9 and 10.
  • Tues – ELEVATE forums for Years 7 and 8 
  • Wed and Thurs- NAPLAN for Years 7 and 9
  • Fri – Taster Day for all students wishing to attend MCC in 2023 in Yr 7. See our website for more information. Students from Catholic and State schools welcome.
  • Yr 11 Leadership Nomination forms available from the Office

Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns always, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and, our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.




Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal

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