From the Head of Junior School - Mr Timothy Franzmann

27 October 2017

Feedback and Suggestions are always welcome!

I regularly receive feedback and suggestions from our parent community.  These conversations can vary and range from what should be on tuck shop menu, pickup and drop off areas or student protection concerns. Some of the changes made in the College regarding procedures are done so in consultation with the parent community.

Some may suggest surveys could be a way of gathering information.  There is certainly value in data collected from surveys to an extent, however I believe feedback or suggestions from parents and students who take the time to meet with me, often provide the opportunity for better, more beneficial outcomes for all involved.

I encourage any member of the College community to come and see me or send me an email.  My email address is timothy.franzmann@twb.catholic.edu.au

 

Planning for 2018

Teachers and the Leadership Team are about to commence formulating class groups for 2018.  We would hope that all of our current students will be continuing their educational journey with us into the new year, however we understand that in some circumstances this is not possible. If you are considering alternative options, please don't hesitate to speak to speak to myself, or one of the Leadership Team so that we can assist you in making the best choice for your child.  Should you need to withdraw your child, a Transfer and Exit form can be obtained from our Enrolments Officer.

 

Special Consideration Requests

This year, Mary MacKillop Catholic College will give parents the opportunity to submit a Special Consideration Request Classes form. The contents of this document is highly regarded during the process of forming class groupings each year. A letter with further information is attached to this newsletter.

Attached: Class Allocation - Special Consideration Request Letter - 2017

 

Mr Timothy Franzmann

Head of Junior School

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From the Head of Junior School - Mr Timothy Franzmann

12 October 2017

Year 1 Teacher Announcement

Following the selection process of a teacher for Year 1 Silky Oak involving Mr Peter Murphy, College Principal, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the new teacher for Year 1 Silky Oak commencing Monday 16 Octobers is:

Mrs Deena Jones

B.Ed. (Primary), M.Ed. (Religious Education)

Deena is known to the Mary MacKillop Catholic College staff and students due to the extensive relief work she has completed this year. As well as her demonstrated professional qualities and skills, Deena has many personal gifts including a well developed understanding of the ethos of Catholic schooling.

In making this announcement, I would also like to sincerely thank Meaghan for teaching the class this year and wish her all the best with the impending birth of her child.

 

Birthday Treats and Christmas Candy Canes

Only cupcakes, Zooper Dooper type ice blocks and ice cream treats are the only items to be brought to school for birthdays. Parents if you are unsure of what to send, check with your child's classroom teacher. Please do not send chocolates or lollies.

Also, do not send Christmas candy canes to school. Students will not be permitted to eat candy canes at school, these can be consumed at home. If you have any questions direct them to Tim Franzmann.

 

Special Consideration Information

I cannot stress enough the importance of reading this section …

This year, Mary MacKillop Catholic College will give parents the opportunity to submit a Special Consideration Request Classes form. The contents of this document is highly regarded during the process of forming class groupings each year. A letter with further information is attached to this newsletter.

Attached: Class Allocation - Special Consideration Request Letter - 2017

Images: Students of the Week (Week 1 and 2)

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Prep excursion to Amaroo

12 October 2017

During the first week back this term, the Prep students enjoyed an excursion to Amaroo to participate in a program called 'Being a Mini Murray'. 

The program aims to educate students on Aboriginal cultural differences including food and how it's caught, gathered and prepared, natural medicines, bush houses and soaps.  The students also learnt to say the names of some Australian animals in the native language of Jarowair as well as their native dance.

Take a look at the photos from the day.

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Book Club Orders

12 October 2017

Orders from Issue 7 of bookclub are due on Thursday 19th October.

Please return to your classroom teacher.

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

14 September 2017

Diocesan Reading Strategy

Earlier this term I wrote about the professional development our Prep to Year 4 teachers would be engaging in to enhance their teaching of reading. Since then our teachers have attended four training days with one more to come in term four. Teachers will now be receiving extra support of school coaches working with teachers in class. Toowoomba Catholic School Office have developed several information videos, which provide some very worthwhile information for parents. Please follow the link to view these videos. http://twbtandl.weebly.com/reading-strategy.html

 

Student Diary items

ELECTRONIC DEVICES POLICY

It is the responsibility of students who bring mobile phones and other electronic devices onto College premises to adhere to the guidelines outlined in this document. The decision to provide a mobile phone to their children should be made by parents or guardians and as such parents should be aware if their child takes a mobile phone onto College premises.

MOBILE PHONES

  • Junior – Mobile phones if brought to the college must be handed in to the office.
  • Senior - Mobile phones, if brought to College, will be switched off on arrival in the morning, placed in lockers and may be switched on again for the journey home. If it is necessary for home or parent contact to be made during College hours (8.30am – 3.10pm) it is to be done by a call from the parent/guardian to the College office, or a phone permission granted to the student by the Principal or Leader of Pastoral Care.
  • Students using a mobile phone during College hours will have it confiscated and returned at the end of the College day. As a consequence for not complying with College rules the student will receive an afternoon detention.
  • Mobile phones are not to be used to take photos without the express permission of the subject. Mobile phones are not to be used to take photos in change rooms, toilets or in any situation that may cause embarrassment or discomfort to their fellow students, staff or visitors to the College.
  • In order to reduce the risk of theft during College hours, students who carry mobile phones are advised to keep them well concealed and not ‘advertise’ they have them.
  • Mobile phones which are found in the College and whose owner cannot be located should be handed to front office/reception.
  • The College accepts no responsibility for mobile phones that are lost, stolen or damaged whilst on College premises, travelling to or from the College or on College sponsored functions.
  • Any student/s found using a mobile phone to cheat in exams or assessments will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the Principal.
  • Any student who uses vulgar, derogatory, or obscene language while using a mobile phone will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the Principal.
  • Students using mobile phones to bully other students will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the Principal. It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person.
  • As such, if action as sanctioned by the Principal is deemed ineffective, as with all such incidents, the College may consider it appropriate to involve the police. Hence, students with mobile phones must not engage in personal attacks, harass another person, or post private information about another person using SMS messages, taking/sending photos or objectionable video images, and phone calls.

Timothy Franzmann

Head of Junior School

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Chess Tournament

14 September 2017

Last Tuesday, 16 students from Mary MacKillop, Grades 1 to 6, ventured to TACAPS to compete in the annual Teams Chess Tournament. Over 500 hundred students, split into 121 teams, participated in 7 grueling rounds of competitive chess. Our students played some of their best chess to achieve great results and some personal bests! Two of our teams finished in the top 10 which is an outstanding result.

Congratulations to all students who participated and beautifully represented Mary MacKillop Catholic College. Well done.

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Optiminds Regionals

30 August 2017

Optiminds Regionals were on again this year in Gatton on Sunday 28 August. Mary MacKillop presented three teams for the challenges.

We have been practicing and preparing for 10 weeks and had a great time along the way, learning about ourselves and other people in our Teams. We have come to understand more about problem solving and how to achieve our goals. While we may not have won a trophy this year, it is not because we didn’t put in the effort.

Our team 3, The Fruitables, showed such strong teamwork, collaboration and encouragement of each other that they were given the Spirit of Opti-MINDS award by the judges.

Well done to all our teams, you have made us proud.

Our teams this year were:

Team 1 name: Egg Heads

Language and Literature

Gabrielle Stubbings        

Grade 5

Molly Haig                          

Grade 5

Riley McNally                    

Grade 5

Sky Warry                           

Grade 5

Indigo Cadzow-Smith    

Grade 4

Team name 2: Flat Alpaca's

Science and Engineering

Karlie Gorbal                     

Grade 5

Bianca Philp                       

Grade 4

Isla Casey                           

Grade 4

Monique George            

Grade 5

Team name 3: The Fruitables

Social Sciences

Elliott Worner                   

Grade 6

Amelia O'Dea                    

Grade 6

Lara Brophy                       

Grade 6

Kokoda Cadzow-Smith  

Grade 6

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Prep Excursion

30 August 2017

On Wednesday August 23, all of our Prep classes went to the Empire Theatre to see a live performance of We're going on a Bear Hunt.

The Prep classes then enjoyed a picnic lunch and a play in Queens Park, before spending the afternoon exploring the Cobb and Co Museum.

A great day out was had by all!

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

18 August 2017

The Golden Rule

When the Prep to Year 2 students displayed their Star of the Week posters at Wednesday assembly, I noticed that several of them had mentioned that they follow the The Golden Rule. Some of you might be thinking - What is The Golden Rule? Or you might recall hearing it during your childhood. 

 

In the Christian faith, the Golden Rule is ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’. I think we have all heard this saying before. It was very interesting to hear that The Golden Rule is stated in many other major religions and spiritual cultures around the world. They don’t all sound the same but they all have a very similar message. 

 

Here are some examples;

 

Buddhism - Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Confucianism - Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.

Judaism - What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.

Aboriginal spirituality - Our identity with land is sacred and unique. We have a very strong sense of community. All persons matter. All of us belong.

Islam - Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.

Hinduism - Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. 

 

At Mary MacKillop Catholic College we teach The Golden Rule through our Making Jesus Real (MJR) program. MJR teaches children positive Christian values including, to be welcoming, encouraging and respectful of others. It is hard to understand why we have so many tensions in the world when we all have a strong sense of The Golden Rule in our faith and spiritual backgrounds. 

 

Sports Uniform

Effective immediately, students from Year 1 to Year 6 will be permitted to wear their preference of shoes when wearing the College Sport Uniform. Shoes must be for running or cross training and must not be high cut sports shoes or skate shoes.  Students can still wear the black school shoes if they wish. Prep students must wear plain black leather or jogger style shoes. School socks must be worn at all times.

 

Kind Regards

Timothy Franzmann

Head of Junior School 

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

4 August 2017

PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS

Parent teacher interviews are only a couple of weeks away so I thought I would republish this information from a newsletter in Term 1. It will be very helpful for you and our teachers if you can consider some of the ideas before attending the interview. 

 

The consistent message to teachers is that there should never be any surprises in a parent teacher interview.  Learning and behaviour concerns should be addressed at the time it comes to the teacher's attention. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure they raise any concern they have about their child’s education when it becomes apparent.

 

I reiterate, presenting issues need always be addressed in a timely manner. Such an approach ensures that small problems are prevented from becoming large ones. Additionally, this continuous communication between parent(s) and teacher builds healthy relationships and delivers positive and timely responses to improve student learning. With such a dynamic, the parent teacher interview should operate as a productive experience for all.  

 

For you as the parent or carer, and for your child’s teacher, being well prepared can help you both make the most of the scheduled parent teacher interview.

 

The following will offer some helpful points for parents:

 

Before the Interview

  • Read your child’s most recent report, and possibly those from earlier years, note anything you want to ask or discuss.
  • You are welcome to bring a list of questions with you and encouraged to make notes as you and the teacher discuss your child’s progress.
  • Ask your child what they think their teacher will say about them. Also ask your child if they have anything they would like you to ask or mention to their teacher.

 

During the Interview – 15 minutes

  • Keep to time, as there may be other parents waiting for their interview. You and the teacher are working together for your child. Don't be afraid to raise your concerns.
  • At the same time, if you're upset about something, let the teacher give you their explanation of the situation.

 

Some questions you may want to ask include:

  • How is my child going socially?
  • What are my child’s strengths and what do they enjoy at school?
  • What does my child struggle with at school?
  • Does my child need support or extension for their learning, and is this available for them?
  • Does my child participate well in class discussions and learning?
  • What is my child’s behaviour like in class? During playtimes?
  • What can I do at home to help my child with their school life, both learning and socially?
  • What are the expectations for homework, and has my child been doing as expected?
  • Is my child organised for class? Are they able to manage their belongings and their learning?
  • Do you have any concerns or recommendations about my child?

 

  • If you want to discuss a particular area of school or learning, let the teacher know at the beginning of the interview, so that this can be addressed. 
  • Make a note as well of any information you need to provide to the teacher, such as changes at home, or medical or specialist appointments, which may have an impact on your child and their learning.
  • If you don’t get through everything you want to discuss, or have major concerns to discuss, you may need to make another time to meet with your child’s teacher.

 

After the Interview

  • Where appropriate, talk with your child about what was discussed, and how you and the teacher are working together for their improved learning.
  • If there are issues and recommendations from the interview, make sure you are both clear about who will do what and when.

 

We all want children to achieve their best. Work together with your child’s teacher as they offer support at school, and you can work with your child at home.

 

Keep in contact with your child’s teacher, perhaps through email or notes. It is best not to arrive at the classroom door unexpectedly and hope to have a quick chat. Between 8:30 am to 3:30 pm is nonstop for teachers, and their primary responsibility each day is to teach their students. They can't leave their class unattended to talk with parents. If you are concerned about your child's progress, please make an appointment to meet with their classroom teacher.

 

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

INFLUENZA

 

Influenza A is currently affecting members of our school and broader community.

Below is information from Queensland Health with some sound advice for your consideration.

 

Prevention:

Good hygiene is essential to protect yourself and others:

  • please stay home when you are sick
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand gel
  • wash your hands prior to touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • use a tissue, or the inside of your arm, when you cough and sneeze
  • throw tissues away immediately and wash hands
  • don't share items such as cigarettes, cups, lipstick, toys or anything which has come into     contact with the mouth or nose
  • stay at least 1 metre away from people who have flu-like symptoms
  • clean frequently touched surfaces regularly, such as door handles, taps, tables, benches and fridge doors.

http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/217/82/Influenza-The-Flu

 

Kind Regards

Timothy Franzmann

Head of Junior School 

 

 

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

21 July 2017

The College Prep Open Day is fast approaching. On Tuesday 25 July, over 90 future Mary MacKillop students and their families will spend the morning experiencing all that we have to offer in prep. Our new prep transition program will prepare our 2018 students for the start of their school education. Current Preps will be involved in a modified program for the morning with drop off at billabong as usual.

Please be mindful that we will  have a number of visiting families and parking spaces will be at a minimum in the junior school.  

 

Lost Property

Junior School lost property can be found in the two blue containers on the stage under Uluru. Both bins are cleaned out on a Friday morning and items of clothing with names are given to the correct children. Any items of clothing not named are sent to the uniform shop. Roughly a quarter of the lost times are unnamed so please make sure that all items are clearly named.  

 

 

 

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Darling Downs Readers' Cup Competition

23 June 2017

Mary MacKillop Catholic College students, Kearra Connor, Thomas Fagan, Lucy Hutchison and Monique George displayed determination and excellent teamwork skills during the recent

Annual DD Readers' Cup Competition, held on Tuesday 14th June at the Glennie School. Representatives from 15 schools competed to correctly answer 40 questions based on 5 Australian children's novels. This is the first year that Mary MacKillop students have participated in the competition and the students are commended for their commitment and enthusiasm in preparing for the competition. Thank you to parents for supporting this initiative.

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

9 June 2017

CLASSROOM COMMUNICATION

A longer version of this information was published in the newsletter in Term one. Please take the time to read this repeat information, as I would like to remind people of this very important process.

The most important relationship you can have at school is with your child's teacher.  The classroom teacher is central to your child’s education at school and Teacher/parent communication and the process for having good communication is very important. Parents are requested to discuss any problems or concerns with the classroom teacher, in the first instance.

These are three highly recommended ways of starting communication with your child’s teacher:

  • Contact the teacher through a classroom communication book/note.
  • Send the teacher an email. Teachers will check their email either at the start or the end of each day.  
  • Contact the College office and make an appointment to see the teacher.     
  • If the matter is urgent, please don’t use email, please contact the office.

Not all teachers are able to have lengthy conversations in the morning as they are preparing the learning experiences for the day. I recommend if you need time for a conversation please make an appointment. Communication needs to work both ways and all staff should be communicating with parents effectively.

It’s important to trust your child's teacher. They know what happens in class, because they are present. This means working together as a team for solutions to problems. If the teacher provides advice regarding your child’s learning it is important to take it seriously.

Our teachers love your children too. They want the best for them, but also need your support. Your appreciation and support is always valued.

 

TOOWOOMBA CATHOLIC SCHOOLS READING IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY

Last week all families were sent a copy of the Horizons magazine. In this recent May edition Mr Jim Midgley, Director: Teaching and Learning, wrote about the Diocesan Reading Improvement Strategy. I want to share this very important article with you all as this initiative will have a positive impact on our school.

Schools across our Diocese are about to embark on a major initiative focussed on consistent use of teaching strategies that make the most difference to students’ reading. This is a big decision for the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office to intervene in the life of schools and insist on specific strategies, not additional strategies, but replacement strategies for an improved rate of learning achievement in reading. Teaching has long been a profession where almost everything has a positive effect, and therefore many and varied approaches have been applied in schools. The variation of reading strategies across our schools is one example of this in practice and while most strategies have a positive effect, there is such a thing as ‘best practice’ for greater effect, as there is in every profession. Our data indicates that the Toowoomba Diocese has ‘pockets of excellence’ when socially just comparisons are made between schools and within schools. Our goal is to move from ‘pockets of excellence’ to ’schools of excellence and a diocese of excellence’ where every student can exceed one year’s learning (reading) achievement in a school year. The work of Professor John Hattie, a renowned educational researcher and chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership has informed our strategy. His research (2015) highlights that a community of teachers agreeing that they can collectively have a positive impact on the quality of student learning achievement makes the biggest difference. Therefore, we will be working with school communities to develop this collective efficacy, growing teachers’ deep knowledge and mastery of best practice in the teaching of reading; and reaping the benefits will be our students as they develop the skills needed for reading and come to know the great joy of the written word and the doors that are opened when one can read. Midgley, 2017

If you would like to do some further reading, please follow the link and look at pages 22 to 23.

http://www.twb.catholic.org.au/horizons/Horizons%2046.pdf

 

STUDENT DIARY ITEMS

I was recently scanning our student diary and realised that there are many important pieces of information that some in our College community may not be aware of regarding policies, procedures and general College routine. Over the next few newsletters I will insert examples of items that I believe will be helpful for families. In the near future all of the information from the student diary will be accessible on the College website. The website will become the source of all information for the College and I recommend that our community use it as a reliable resource.

Late to College

On arrival, report to the Front Office. You will be asked by office staff your reason for being late, and will be asked to sign in on the student register in the Senior School. You will be given a slip which you must show your class teacher. If you are more than a few minutes late you should bring a signed note from a parent/guardian, or your parent/guardian should phone the office. In the Junior School you will be asked your reason for being late and handed a late slip, which you will give to your class teacher.

Kind Regards

Timothy Franzmann

Head of Junior School

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Bee-Bot Programming in Prep

8 June 2017

Prep students have been learning how to program Bee-bots while developing their understanding of digital technologies and mathematical concepts.

A Bee-bot is a programmable floor robot which is used to teach sequencing, directional language, estimating and problem solving.

It has been wonderful to observe students actively learning and working together while having fun programming their bee-bot. Thank you to our P&F who have funded the purchase of 12 Bee-Bots and accompanying technology resources. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

25 May 2017

MARY’S GAZE

Mary’s gaze - how important this is! Many things we can say with a look - affection, encouragement, compassion, love, but also disapproval, envy, pride, and even hatred. Often a look says more than words; it says what words we do not or we dare not say.

At whom is the Virgin Mary looking? She is looking at each and every one of us. How does she look at us? She looks at us a as a Mother, with tenderness, mercy, and love.

Pope Francis’ message, October 12, 2013

Reflection: What does your look say about you? Do you look upon others with mercy, or does your glance convey a sense of disapproval, superiority, or boredom? Take up Mary’s example and look on others with love.

A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis, 2014.

STUDENT DIARY ITEMS

I was recently scanning our student diary and realised that there are many important pieces of information that some in our College community may not be aware of regarding policies, proceedures and general College routine. Over the next few newsletters I will insert examples of items that I believe will be helpful for families. All of the information from the student diary will be accessible on the new College Website once it has been launched. The new website will become the source of all information for the College and I recommend that our community use it as a reliable resource.

ATTENDANCE

The minimum standard record of attendance is 85%. Should any student fall below this standard without a good reason, a College Based Attendance Improvement Plan will be devised. This information may be required to be reported to the Catholic Schools Office and Catholic Education Commission, QLD.

ABSENCE

A student absence must be explained within seven days of returning to the College. Where no notification is provided students will receive an ‘unexplained absence’.

 EXTENDED LEAVE

Parents seeking leave for their child/ren for a period of more than 5 days are requested to put in writing to the Principal an ‘Exemption from Attendance’ outlining an explanation for the leave and the period of time required. Please note this request does not equate to automatic approval of this timeframe.

ATHLETICS CARNIVAL ABSOLUTELY FREE DRESS DAY

For our whole college Athletics carnival on Wednesday, 31 May, students are invited to wear their sports uniform and/or Free dress in the colour of their house; Red (strength) - Cunningham, Yellow (energy) - McCormack, Blue (peace) - Penola, Green (growth) -Tenison. Clothing must be “appropriate” with a sunsmart hat (no caps). All students must wear joggers.

SPEED LIMITS IN AND AROUND THE COLLEGE

We have been advised by our local police to remind all members of our College Community to be vigilant and observe the speed limits in and around the College. School zones are 40kms per hour and within the College 10kms per hour.

PARKING AT THE COLLEGE

All members of the College community must reverse park in all parent parking areas. In particular the parking area near the junior admin and the grass area beside the main driveway. This is for safety reasons and visibility of students.

If you have any questions please contact the College office.

TOYS AND COLLECTABLES AT SCHOOL

Fidget spinners, football cards, all other collectables and toys are not be brought to school unless the classroom teacher allows a student to do so for classroom activities. These items will be confiscated if found at school.

Tim Franzmann, Head of Junior School

timothy.franzmann@twb.catholic.edu.au

 

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

11 May 2017

This week at the College, students sat for the Australian National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy. NAPLAN is not a test that children can prepare for in the same way they might prepare for an end of term test. NAPLAN is a test that assess skills that develop and improve over time. For example, the Year 3 NAPLAN test is a snapshot of previous learning from Prep to Year 2. These skills are continuously developed throughout the year, not just in the lead up to NAPLAN.

At Mary MacKillop we are regularly questioned as to how we prepare our students for the NAPLAN tests. Quality teaching and learning of the curriculum is the best method for preparing our students. Regular testing situations which are similar to the NAPLAN process are also considered when it comes to assessment time. Recent discussions within the Leadership Team has highlighted a review of how we asses our students and how NAPLAN protocols and the special genera of the test can be imbedded in our regular testing procedures.

The best way to get your child ready for NAPLAN is to continue to develop literacy and numeracy skills. Your child’s teacher will be able to give you advice on how to help support the teaching of the curriculum and encourage development of these skills at home.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS CARNIVAL

Congratulations to all of the Mary Mac students who have been competing in our pre Athletic Carnival events. I am looking forward to seeing all students participating at our whole College carnival in a couple of weeks.

TOYS AND COLLECTABLES AT SCHOOL

Fidget spinners, football cards and all other collectables and toys are not be brought to school unless the classroom teacher allows a student to do so for classroom activities. These items will be confiscated if found at school.

Tim Franzmann, Head of Junior School

timothy.franzmann@twb.catholic.edu.au

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

27 April 2017

ANZAC CONNECTION

We all have our special connection to ANZAC Day. The 25th of April has always been held as a very special day in my family due to two special people whom I have never met, but heard many stories about as a child. Every year ANZAC Day is a day for me to reflect and think of my Great Grandfather, Alan Pearse, and my Grandfather, Ken Powell.

Captain Alan Thomas Pearse, 14979, World War One

6th Light Horse Regiment, Egypt and Palestine

15 Field Artillery, France (wounded in the battle of Passendale)

DOB 1890 – Died 1963

Captain Pearse left Australia with his horse as a member of the 6th Light Horse. He was wounded in the Battle of Passendale. The Battle of Passendale is known as the muddy war, they fought in mud the whole time. A French nurse named Jacqueline nursed him in the field hospital. Subsequently he named his daughter ‘Jacqueline’ in her honour.

Private Kenneth Arthur Powell, QX 12537, Second World War

2nd 9th Battaltion, 6th Division AIF

Middle East/Battle of Greece and Crete, 2/2 CCS, POW Burma

DOB 1906 – Died 1972

Ken was a sniper and sustained shrapnel wounds in the Battle of Greece and Crete. After he evacuated from Crete he transferred to the 2nd CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) under the command of Major Weary Dunlop to become a member of the Dunlop Force. They were captured when they landed in Bandenong on the island Java to set up a hospital to attend to the native population and Dutch Indonesian population. He spent the next 3½ years a POW suffering extreme hardship, hard labour and torture on the Burma railway line. He is mentioned in Weary Dunlop's diary as running the cigarette shop.

Even though I have never met them, I feel a special and lasting connection to them both. I know that it is my responsibility as a parent to keep their memory alive in my family so they are not forgotten. Like all ANZAC's, it’s every Australian's responsibility to keep the memory alive through family stories, education at school and attending ANZAC ceremonies. We remember the sacrifice and gift of all who have severed their country at war and the freedom they have given us and future generations. I hope that when the 200th year anniversary of the landing in Galipiolie comes around, the front page of this newsletter has stories and photos of how Mary MacKillop Catholic College celebrated ANZAC day.

THE SPIRIT OF JESUS

The word ‘Spirit’ is sometimes difficult to understand, yet this word is mentioned often. You may hear a coach tell a team “I want you to go out and play this half with more spirit”, or you may remember your teacher praise your class by saying, “I really enjoy working with you as your class spirit is excellent”. We hear and read about the ‘Anzac Spirit’. As Australians, we are encouraged to live the ANZAC Spirt of determination, sacrifice, sense of humour and loyalty to family, friends and country.

On Tuesday, some members of the Highfields community told me that our students had ‘good school spirit’. Our strong Mary MacKillop College ANZAC Spirit was highlighted when many of our students, staff and parents represented the school at the Highfields Community ANZAC Day Service. Roughly 200 students attended the march. A huge thank you to those who attended this very special occasions in great spirit – the Mary MacKillop way. 

Tim Franzmann, Head of Junior School

timothy.franzmann@twb.catholic.edu.au

 

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Prep Easter Hat Parade

27 April 2017

What a colourful start we had at the College for term 2. Our Preppies led the way with a very special Easter Hat Parade.

Students showcased their bright and special, self made hats in spectacular fashion to the delight of parents. The event concluded with some very fun dancing, many parents joining in too. Giggles, hugs and bursts of colour filled the afternoon, well done Prep you were amazing!

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

24 March 2017

Dear Parents,

Students in the junior school have been focusing on the season of Lent and Easter. Year 4 have been selling home baking to raise funds for Caritas and the Year 5 students have started their very popular Easter Egg Raffle.

This week we had a very successful Junior School Open Day. It was wonderful to see so many new families experiencing our amazing Mary MacKillop College community. Thank you to all the staff and parents involved in the organisation of this very productive morning.

Thank you to everyone for a sensational start to the year and I hope that you all have a safe and restful Easter with your families.

PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS

Our recent Parent Teacher Interviews have now concluded for term 1 and we have started reflecting on the parent teacher interview process. One major area of concern that I will address below is communication between parents and teachers. 

The consistent message to teachers is that there should never be any surprises in a parent teacher interview.  Learning and behavior concerns should be addressed at the time it comes to the teacher's attention. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure they raise any concern they have about their child’s education when it becomes apparent.

I reiterate, presenting issues need always be adressed in a timely manner. Such an approach ensures that small problems are prevented from becoming large ones. Additionally, this continuous communication between parent(s) and teacher builds healthy relationships and delivers positive and timely responses to improve student learning. With such a dynamic operating, the parent teacher interview should operate as a productive experience for all.  

For you as the parent or carer, and for your child’s teacher, being well prepared can help you both make the most of scheduled parent teacher interview.

The following will offer some helpful points for parents:

Before the Interview

Read your child’s most recent report, and possibly those from earlier years, note anything you want to ask about.

You are welcome to bring a list of questions with you, so you can make notes as you and the teacher talk.

Ask your child what they think their teacher will say about them. Also ask your child if they have anything they would like you to ask or tell their teacher.

During the Interview – 15 minutes

Keep to time, as there may be other parents waiting for their interview. You and the teacher are working together for your child. Don't be afraid to raise your concerns. At the same time, if you're upset about something, let the teacher give you their explanation of the situation.

Some questions you may want to ask include:

1. How is my child going socially?

2. What are my child’s strengths and what do they enjoy at school?

3. What does my child struggle with at school?

4. Does my child need support or extension for their learning, and is this available for them?

5. Does my child participate well in class discussions and learning?

6. What is my child’s behaviour like in class? During playtimes?

7. What can I do at home to help my child with their school life, both learning and socially?

8. What are the expectations for homework, and has my child been doing as expected?

9. Is my child organised for class? Are they able to manage their belongings and their learning?

10. Do you have any concerns or recommendations about my child?

If you want to discuss a particular area of school or learning, let the teacher know at the beginning of the interview, so that this can be addressed.

Make a note as well of any information you need to tell the teacher, such as changes at home, or medical or specialist appointments, which may have an impact on your child and their learning.

If you don’t get through everything you want to discuss, or have major concerns to discuss, you may need to make another time to meet with your child’s teacher.

After the Interview

Where appropriate, talk with your child about what was discussed, and how you and the teacher are working together for their improved learning. If there are issues and recommendations from the PT Interview, make sure you are both clear about who will do what and when.

We all want children to achieve their best. Work together with your child’s teacher as they offer support at school, and you can work with your child at home.

Keep in contact with your child’s teacher, perhaps through email or notes. Don't arrive at the classroom door unexpectedly and hope to have a quick chat. Between 8:30 am to 3:30 pm is non stop for teachers, and their primary responsibility each day is to teach their students. They can't leave their class unattended to talk with parents. If you are concerned about your child's progress, make an appointment to meet with their classroom teacher.

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to be in contact with me.

SAFE BEHAVIOURS

Many of our students travel to and from school on foot or riding their bike. Most times they are doing this without the supervision of an adult. Below is a list of a few safety ideas that may not have been considered. If you child travels home without you then I suggest the following might be helpful.

1. Always stick to the same route home. Know the toute and path your child travels.

2. Travel with a friend or another family who may have their parent with them.

3. Get your child to contact you when they arrive home.

4. Talk to your child abut not talking to people they don't know.

We want all of your children to be safe when travelling to and from school.

God Bless, Tim Franzmann

timothy.franzmann@twb.catholic.edu.au

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Primary Chess Tournament

20 March 2017

Last Tuesday, 17 students represented the College at the Primary Individual Chess Tournament. Over 350 students representing 27 schools were involved in this tournament held at Christian Outreach College Toowoomba.

Our Students participated in eight rounds of chess, playing students from Year 1 through to Year 6. Our students finished the day beaming from the fun competition, having learnt new tips and skills in this rewarding yet challenging game that is chess.

Congratulations to the following students:

Thomas Burling - 3rd place overall

Brendan Williams - 5th place overall

Riley Cuthbert - 3rd place in Grade 5 division.

Craig Hubbard, Year 4 Teacher

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

10 March 2017

This week the first ever Mary MacKillop Reading Boot Camp started. This three week program has been the brain child of Maree Coughlan. With the assistance of the Year 4 teachers, Maree has identified several students to be drafted into the camp for the intense three week reading program. Already the students have noticed an improvement in their reading confidence and stamina. It will be very interesting to see the results at the end of the three weeks. Thank you to the patents who have recognised the importance of this program and have given Mrs Coughlan the freedom to make a change in the students reading ability. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the gift of reading.

STUDENT CODE OF PRESENTATION

It has recently been brought to my attention that parents can’t easily access information regarding our student Code of Presentation. The Code of Presentation is a “Door to Door” policy. Students are required to wear the appropriate College uniform correctly from the time of departure from home each morning through until arrival home at the end of the day. More detailed information will be uploaded on our College webpage in the near future.

Some areas that need some immediate attention in the junior school are listed below:

  • Only neck chains of religious significance may be worn
  • No bracelets are to be worn. Only watches are to be worn on the wrist
  • All hair accessories must be in College colours, only blue, maroon or white
  • Boys formal shirts are to be tucked in at all times

Parents we need your support with these uniform requirements. Please ensure your child arrives at school wearing their uniform correctly and with respect.

Timothy Franzmann, Head of Junior School

timothy.franzmann@twb.catholic.edu.au

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Junior School Open Day & Prep 2018 Enrolment

24 February 2017

On Thursday, 23 March we are holding our Junior School Open Day from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. This will be a wonderful morning for families in our community to see first hand the array of opportunites we offer here at Mary MacKillop Catholic College. We welcome you to learn about our curriculum, meet our staff and students, and most importantly, be part of the wonderful atmosphere of love, value and care we give to each child.

Please extend a warm invitation to your friends who would be interested in attending. A flyer will be sent home in the next couple of weeks for you to hand out to any interested families you may know. If you would like to attend or bring someone, please rsvp to Elizabeth Stewart by Friday, 17 March elizabeth.findlay@twb.catholic.edu.au

The College is now taking Prep enrolments for 2018 and places are filling fast. New and current families wanting to enroll their child must complete a College Application Form available from the College office or on our website. It is important to note, that if your enrolment application is received after all 2018 offers are given, your child’s position cannot be guaranteed. For more information, please contact our Enrolments Officer, Nadine Sheldrick nadine.sheldrick@twb.catholic.edu.au

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From The Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

24 February 2017

Dear Friends

Over the past two weeks, I kept my promise and allocated time in my schedule to teach some classes. Each teacher was given an extra 45 minutes noncontact time so I could take their class and continue to spread the MJR message.

Preps to Year 3 have been focusing on being 'Happy Chappies'. What are the qualities of being a 'Happy Chappy' and having a positive attitude in our lives? Our wonderful library staff, Erica Calvert and Joel Kelly, provided me with some fantastic books which have assisted me. The unfortunate events of poorNoah Dreary by Aron Blabey, the cranky fish who eats the other fish in the tank, “Ugly Fish” by Kara LaReau and Scott Magon, and the ever popular “The Very Crank Bear” by Nick Bland have delighted our younger students and produced some giggles in the classroom.

I have been working with Year 4 students on similar concepts of being resilient and moving on from tough situations. Self motivation and mental toughness have been the theme in Years 5 and 6. Together we watched the story Catching Kayla. A story about Kayla Montgomery an American teen who contracted MS, and how she dealt with this disease, using running as her motivation. An incredibly motivating and stirring story full of God moments and the Spirit of Jesus. I encourage everyone to watch this youtube clip.

Catching Kayla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpA-FsKLA6A

It was fabulous to meet so many parents at our College House Welcome BBQ last week and this week. Thanks to the parents and staff who helped with the cooking and organisation.

Finally and importantly, we have been asked by Paul Swan (local police officer) that all members of our school community observe the 40 km speed limit within the school area. This also applies to the 10 km speed limit within the school grounds. The safety of our children is paramount.

God Bless

Tim Franzmann, Head of Junior School

 

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Year 5 Mini Vinnies

10 February 2017

Every Year 5 student was presented with their Mini Vinnies badges on Wednesday morning. The Mini Vinnies induction and badging ceremony kicks off a year of social justice initiatives where students fundraise for those who are in need. Year 5 students will meet together to share ideas and concerns, to have fun and support each other as they become advocates within the College and community by putting their values into action and serving others. 

Mini Vinnies is the primary school arm of St Vincent de Paul Society, developing leadership skills and compassion in our young people. We know our students will do MMCC proud in serving and being the change for others in 2017. Look out and support these students and their many projects this year.

 

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From the Head of Junior School, Tim Franzmann

9 February 2017

It has been a very busy start to the year with many activities happening in the Junior School. I am constantly marveled by the dynamic classroom environments we have. One of my goals was to visit classrooms once a day to get to know the children. My plan for the next couple of weeks is to assist the teachers with their lessons and use this time to connect with the students.

We have been dominating the sports scene this last week with the start of our Swimming Carnivals and extracurricular sports activities. I would like to make a very special mention of the amazing work that Kate McWha our extremely dedicated and organsied Sports Coordinator is doing. Kate is making sure our students are having quality sporting opportunities and achieving excellent results. We are the envy of many schools in our Diocese, thank you Kate.

Music is also everywhere at Mary Mac with a very high number of students being involved in our instrumental program. Mrs Natalie Otto has been very busy organsing lessons times and has done an amazing job pulling this all together.

Our Years 5 and 6 students have had their induction with Mini Vinnies (Year 5) and MJR Leadership Day (Year 6). The spirit of Jesus is working within these special young people as what they do through these initiatives offers a fantastic service to our school community.

COMMUNICATION WITH CLASS TEACHERS

Let us walk in the footsteps of this teacher:

It is a normal afterschool day, but instead of marking homework, I have been summoned to the principal's office. I am racking my brain as to why - I know I turned in my report cards - and then it hits me, I'm a victim of a parent who won't communicate with me. Something has happened in my classroom and this parent is not happy with what occurred so they have skipped the step of talking to me and have gone straight to my boss. Not only am I sheepish at being sent to the principal's office, but I am frustrated that a conversation between the two of us wasn't the first course of action. Now I feel as though the parent doesn't trust me and our relationship is strained. It will be awkward the next time I see them. Why can't they just come and talk to me?

Teacher/parent communication and the process for having good communication is important. If you have a problem or a concern, the procedure is, you need to talk first to the classroom teacher. This is not because I do not want to talk to you, but because the most important relationship you can have at school is with your child's teacher. There is a great deal at stake here, communication and parent/teacher relationships are of a high priority.

These are three highly recommended ways of starting communication with the teachers:

  • Call the office and make an appointment to see the teacher.
  • Contact the teacher through the communication book.                 
  • Send the teacher an email. All teachers are directed to check emails once a day.

Not all teachers are able to have lengthy conversations in the morning as they are preparing the learning experiences for the day. I recommend if you need time for a conversation make an appointment.

Communication needs to work both ways and all staff should be communicating with parents effectively. If you are not happy with the amount of communication coming from the teacher then make an appointment and chat with them about what you require and why. Then, together you can start to build the communication lines and enhance the quality of your child's education.

It can be difficult with certain people, I understand, but trust your child's teacher. They know what happens in class, because they're present (you're not). This means working together for solutions to problems, and it means listening. If the teacher gives you advice about helping your child learn, take it seriously - just like the advice you might get from your child's doctor.

When you have meetings scheduled with teachers, be on time and be present with them. Their time is valuable too. If a problem comes up, talk to the teacher first rather than going over their heads to administration. Finally, never ever talk negatively about a teacher in front of your child.

The bottom line is that our teachers love your kids too. They want the best for them, but need you to have their backs. Show them some appreciation...you might be surprised at the results.

Lord Jesus, we ask for the life and power of your Spirit in our school, so that adults and young people alike, may always see the need to treat others generously, with respect and courtesy and care and understanding.
As you cured people who were blind, lead us to focus on the positive rather than the negative, so that we may all bring out the best in one another.
Amen.

God Bless

Tim Franzmann

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