McAuley News

Term 2, Issue 5 - 5 June 2020


This week we are beyond the half way point of Term 2. It has been a tremendous term, and it is difficult to believe that soon we will be thinking about the school holidays. Students and teachers have returned to many of the usual school routines, where we have found some comfort in familiar practices.

For teachers and students, learning from home was tricky; not only did we manage, but we continued to thrive. The greatest of challenges are the ones we face when we don’t expect them, and when we think we can’t overcome them. For our students, the young women of the 21st Century, this has been a time of the greatest of achievements. We are very proud of every Catherine McAuley student enrolled in 2020. They have remained resilient to enormous challenges and they have kept in the forefront of their thinking their focus on mercy and on their studies.

The development of resilience is an important attribute for this generation.

In the New Testament, Paul writes to Timothy, ‘For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control.’

These are ideal words to guide us through to the end of Term 2, as we continue to re-establish our routines, relationships, and day to day practicalities. 

As always, we thank you for your continued support in the education of your daughters.

School Cleanliness and Safe Practices

We are still very mindful of the need to maintain hygiene practices in the school environment, and we continue to ensure the regular cleaning of touchpoints, bathrooms and classrooms. In addition, we continue to ensure adequate provision of soap and hand sanitisers for students. We continue to remind students to avoid close contact and ask that you also continue to talk to them about this to further ensure their safety.

Return to Routines

As students have returned to school, we are keen to re-establish good routines of learning and socialising. This has meant that we are strictly keeping to regular timetabled lessons. This also makes possible the maintenance of good health and safety practices.

There will not be any assemblies, incursions and excursions for the rest of Term 2. 

In Term 3 we will begin reintroducing some of the usual school activities, in accordance with advice from NSW Department of Health. 

In Term 3, MCCS Sport will recommence and essential curriculum excursions will be re-organised. Year and school assemblies will re-occur when it is permissible for them to do so. 

For students in Year 12, communication has been sent to families regarding dates of significant graduation events. The nature and format of these events are subject to advice from NSW Department of Health, but we will ensure that the rites of passage associated with the important occasion of school completion and graduation are appropriately honoured.

Enjoy The Long Weekend

Best wishes for the long weekend. Now that more freedoms are permitted, I hope you and your families enjoy some time together in the lovely winter sunshine.

Mary Refalo 


Whilst the start of this term has been like no other, it is wonderful to see that learning is still happening and not just for the students but also for staff and I would imagine for parents as well!

In the first two days of this term, staff engaged in professional learning which helped to develop their skills in pedagogy which are particularly useful for an online environment. Last term, we introduced the school community to the 'learning pit'. It would be fair to say that the staff at Catherine McAuley have definitely spent some time in the learning pit successfully developing the skills to enable them to climb out of it.

Whilst we have now returned to face to face teaching, I thought I would share some advice for parents from leading educational researcher, John Hattie. 

John Hattie claims that it is important that parents should see their role as creating routines for learning and allowing their children to not know: There is no point having their children learn stuff they already know, as not knowing is a sign of readiness and excitement for learning. Parents should encourage their children to read, read, read and also talk about their reading: the story gains importance and the vocabulary is extended. And then, simultaneously, parents keep teaching the skills of reading to make reading pleasurable.   

It would be wonderful to use this pandemic as an opportunity to learn about learning from afar, so share stories of success of your children learning from this crisis. Be confident that when society resumes back to more familiar ways, as it has already begun to, we will all be a little more resilient and better equipped to deal with the world in which we find ourselves living

Ms Silvana Rossetti 
Assistant Principal (Learning and Teaching)

FROM THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL (Pastoral Care/Administration)

Digital Reputation

Year Coordinators and homeroom teachers have been highlighting with students the importance of developing a positive digital footprint. We ask parents and guardians to also have these conversations with the young people in your life.  

A person’s digital reputation is defined by their behaviour in the online environment and by the content they post about themselves and others. Tagged photos, blog posts and social networking interactions will all shape how they are perceived by others online and offline, both now and in the future. A poor digital reputation can affect their friendships, relationships and even their job prospects, so it is very important that they are aware of what picture they are painting of themselves online and protect their digital reputation today.

 What do I need to know?
  • Once information makes its way online it can be difficult to remove and can be easily and quickly shared around.

  • Images and words can be misinterpreted and altered as they are passed around.

  • Content intended for your small group of friends can cause issues when shared with others outside the group.

  • You need to consider how you manage both your messages and images and those of others.

  • Your privacy settings on social media sites need to be managed in order to protect your digital reputation.

Protecting your digital reputation
  • Stop and think about any content before you post or send.

  • Treat others online as you would like to be treated.

  • Set your profile to private—and check every now and then to make sure the settings haven’t changed.

  • Keep an eye on photos tagged by your friends and remove ones that are offensive.

Remember your online information could be there forever and your personal information may end up being seen by people you don’t know, including potential employers.

Can you clean up a digital reputation?

Cleaning up your digital reputation can be a difficult task but it is not impossible. You may not be able to erase the past but you can build a better image of yourself online over time. There are thousands of online articles that can provide you with excellent guidance on how to go about cleaning up your digital reputation. For further information go to the eSafety Commission Website.

Reminder - Student Absence

If you daughter is absent due to illness please inform the school by email on the day of her absence via

Parents / Carers will receive an SMS message if the school has not received an email by 8:30am on the day of the absence or a written note prior to the date of absence. If your daughter is absent for more than two days please supply the school with a medical certificate clearly stating the dates of absence. If an email or medical certificate is provided another parental note is not required.

Winter Uniform

Please ensure your daughter wears the school uniform correctly in Terms 2 and 3.  

WINTER UNIFORM – Terms 2 and 3
School Blazer
Short sleeved school blouse
School winter skirt
Opaque black stockings – not knee high
Standard black lace up school shoes

School jumper and School black scarf 

School blazers must be worn to and from school in the winter terms. Jumpers without blazers are to be worn only within the school grounds. Year 12 Jerseys are only to be worn on Thursday without their school blazer. Black sports bags are to be used for excursions, PDHPE and sport.

SPORTS UNIFORM – Terms 2 and 3 
School cap/hat
School sport's shirt 
School tracksuit (jacket and long pants)
School sport socks and predominantly white joggers

Students (Year 7-10) wear their sports uniform to and from school on Thursdays only. In Terms 2 and 3 the tracksuit is compulsory. Jumpers are not to be worn with tracksuit pants. School sports socks are compulsory.

Year 10 Vaccinations

The NSW Health School Vaccination Program will recommence clinics during Term 2. Additional measures to reduce Covid-19 transmission are being implemented, based on current State and National recommendations. Further information on ensuring students are safely vaccinated at school during Covid-19 can be found here.

Year 10 students will be taking part in the government Meningococcal ACWY Vaccination Program on Monday, 22nd June 2020. All Year 10 students received a Parent Consent Vaccination form early in Term 1. If you would like your daughter to receive the vaccination and have not returned/misplaced the form please contact the school on 9849 9109.

Pupil Free Days

A reminder to parents that all staff will be involved in a Staff Spirituality Day on Friday, 3rd July and a Staff Professional Development Day on Monday, 20th July. These two days will be Pupil Free Days.

Ms Debbie Grigson
Assistant Principal (Pastoral Care/Administration)


Last Sunday the Church celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, one of the most important feast days of the year that concludes the Easter season and celebrates the beginning of the Church. Pentecost is the celebration of the person of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles, Mary, and the first followers of Jesus, who were gathered together in the Upper Room. Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church - Peter, the first Pope, preaches for the first time and converts thousands of new believers.

It is during the period of physical distancing that we have appreciated that the Church is not just the buildings that were closed for everyone’s safety. Like Peter and the first believers, they were the Church before the physical structures were created. Just as much as in Peter’s time, today the people continue to be the Church.

During these challenging times people are using their gifts creatively to continue Jesus’ mission. We have found a new way of doing things. Many of our families have streamed Masses and prayed together. Our ongoing practical support with grocery items assists the work of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in the provision of hampers for almost 270 families each week. 

This Sunday is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Shortly, students in Year 11 Studies of Religion will be studying this principal belief of Christianity. Our Year 7 students have started a unit of work titled Images of God. As part of their classwork they have created their own visual images to represent the Holy Trinity. Their work has been very impressive and we are very grateful that the students have safely returned to school. 

Year 7 Images of God

Ms Genevieve Banks
Religious Education Coordinator


Jesuit Refugee Service - JRS Foodbank

Donate food and toiletries to support refugees and people seeking asylum.

During these unprecedented times refugees and people seeking asylum in the community need your help more than ever. With increasing numbers of students returning to school over the next few weeks perhaps your family might be able to help by having your daughter bring in one of the following items for the school’s JRS Foodbank collection. Items can be left in the baskets near the canteen before school.

  • Basmati rice

  • Cooking oil

  • Long life UHT milk 1l

  • Tinned tuna in oil

  • Red kidney beans

  • Dried lentils and chickpeas

  • Tinned fruit

  • Biscuits and muesli bars

  • Oats and cereal

  • Toiletries including large size nappies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors and shaving foam, sanitary pads, deodorant and soap.

JRS thanks families for their support during this time. Click on the link below for a JRS Foodbank flyer with more information:

JRS Foodbank Flyer


Welcome Back To Students

Students returned last week to the school campus and when asked how it felt to be back at school they all were pleased to be back with their friends, back with their teachers and for some pleased to be back with the school canteen!

Click on this link to view a short video showing some student views on being back at school.

The School Goes TikTok Crazy as Part of the House Photo Challenge

House Patrons put out the call to all students this term to be creative and enter the ‘House Photo Challenge’ with a different theme each week. All entries attract a point for the entrant’s House. The challenge over Week 4 (and due to its popularity also Week 5) was not a photo challenge but instead a TikTok challenge and it proved to be very popular!

Students were invited to recreate a TikTok and if the student could convince their family members to get involved they would earn double points for their House. Many entries were received with students, teachers and families taking part. Well done to all families who helped earn points for their daughter’s House and for being coordinated enough to get involved!

Click on the links below to view the House Patrons initial TikTok to launch the challenge and some of the family TikToks. If you follow the school’s Facebook page and Instagram page you will have already seen these TikToks.

The new theme is ‘Knitting and Crochet’. Students are able to snap a photo of themselves completing a knitting or crocheting task or wearing an item they have knitted.

Year 7 McAuley Student Features in Video to Celebrate the Bicentenary of Catholic Education in Australia

In 2020 we celebrate the bicentenary of Catholic Education in Australia when 200 years ago a small school was established in Hunter Street, Parramatta. The CEDP has been busy creating online resources, telling the stories of our past and present, to bring this history to life.

Yar, Year 7, was chosen to perform a dramatic monologue for the 200 Years website, playing the role of Amal Zarouq, a student who has migrated to Australia from Sudan. Her character was fictional but was based on the real life stories of two Nagle College students (which is why Yar is wearing the Nagle uniform). Yar rehearsed over a period of weeks with Ms Lucinda Armour from Captivate Drama. Of Yar’s performance Ms Armour commented the following: 

“We had worked with Yar at St Anthonys, Giraween and when we were casting the role of Amal Zarouq we thought of Yar and the strength she could bring to the character. Yar has worked so hard through rehearsals with me and then on her own through the Covid 19 lockdown. She was a natural in the studio, delivering her performance beautifully to camera, just as if she were speaking directly to the audience. We are very proud of her.”  

The video will be shared with schools and communities across the Parramatta Diocese and beyond. Congratulations to Yar for her outstanding contribution to this important program.

Ms Lucinda Armour
Captivate Drama Practitioner

Upcoming History Competitions

History students are invited to participate in two upcoming History competitions. The National History Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for students to focus on a specific area of interest by researching and responding to their chosen topic and last year Catherine McAuley student Victoria C., Year 10 was a State winner! The theme this year is ‘Contested History’ and more information is available via this link.

The second competition is the Student Historical Fiction Competition organised by Sydney Living Museums. More information on this competition is available on their website via this link.

Ms Reed, History Teacher, will be holding information sessions for interested students in Week 7 during lunchtimes in BM314. More information on these sessions is available in the Student Daily Notices or by contacting Ms Reed.

Thursday Afternoon Activities

The cancellation of MCCS sport and outside instructors hasn’t stopped McAuley students from being active in a responsible way for Thursday afternoon activities. Teachers are running Zumba classes, obstacle courses, skipping, frisbee, ping pong, volleyball, shuttlecock and much more. A selection of photos below shows some of the activities or click on this link for a snapshot of Zumba run by Ms Lowrencev.

Meet the ICT Services Team

Offering Technology Support For Students

The ICT Services Team has recently relocated to the Library! A member of the ICT Services Team will be available to support students with anything ICT related between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. 

Students are encouraged to attend before school, recess, lunch or after school as the team are often off around the site fixing and working on requests during class time. A laptop is available on the desk to log your visit if no one is available when you attend and we will follow up directly with you as soon as we can. 

Staff, students and parents are also able to email directly for support. 

WCC ICT Services Team Members:

  • Jake Ward - Leader, ICT Services

  • Troy Formosa - Technical Support Officer

  • Mark Micallef - Technical Support Officer

  • James Isbilir - STEM Technician and Technical Support Officer

  • James Azzopardi - ICT Trainee

  • Jacob Bracun - ICT Trainee

  • Sarah Kendrick - ICT Trainee

We look forward to assisting you!

Jake Ward
Leader, ICT Services


Year 7 Visual Arts Learning to Draw Self Portraits

Year 7 Visual Arts students of Ms Jarosevski are currently learning to draw self portraits and experiment with a range of different materials. This week they were exploring the effects made by using watercolour crayons.

Year 7 Balloon Cars

Mrs Bonello’s Year 7 Technology Mandatory class have been looking at ‘Engineered Systems’ and in particular have been learning about force and motion. Last term the students had the task of creating a balloon car using materials which could be found at home. The design brief for the balloon car was that it was to have a body, axels, wheels and a balloon and must be able to travel 1/5m in a straight line.

With the students now back at school the races in class could begin! Click on the link for a short video of the balloon races.

Year 8 Science Modelling the Processes Involved in the Rock Cycle

Year 8 students in Science have been learning why we use models in many areas of life. Last week students in Ms Rossetti’s class were modelling the processes involved in the rock cycle to help them develop their understanding of these processes and why and how we use models in science.

Year 9 Textiles Create Sock Toys During Remote Lesson Time

During the Covid-19 remote learning lessons Year 9 students in Ms Moore’s Textile class were set the task of creating a sock doll or toy made from unpaired socks as part of their unit looking at the reuse and recycling of textiles. Ms Moore said that the project aimed to highlight to students the global impact of textile waste. Students had free choice to hand sew a toy of their choice all made from recycled materials and document their work in the process. “The class came up with some great designs and really enjoyed the unit of work”, said Ms Moore.

Year 11 VET Fitness Students Train Year 9 PASS

Year 11 VET Fitness students of Ms Robson spent Friday last week training Ms Muggleton’s Yr 9 PASS class as part of their VET course. Throughout VET Fitness students study a number of competencies including first aid, providing fitness orientation and health screening, planning and delivering group fitness sessions, instructing and monitoring fitness programs and following occupational health and safety policies.

The Year 11 VET students created the circuit class for the Year 9 students which consisted of eight body weight exercises and a run. Click on the link for a 20 second video showing the class in action.

Year 11 Biology Pluck Dissection

During Week 4 Year 11 Biology students with Ms Raja (11BIO3) performed a pluck dissection. Pluck is the lungs, heart and liver of an animal and dissecting a pluck is a good way for students to observe how the lungs work and the heart in relation to the lungs. Click on the link for a snapshot of this activity in class. Warning - it is graphic.

There are many more ‘Around the Classes’ which can be viewed on the school’s Facebook Page and Instagram Page. Search on both platforms for ‘Catherine McAuey Westmead’.


Monday, 8th JuneQueen's Birthday Public Holiday
Monday, 22nd JuneYear 10 Vaccination Clinic
Friday, 3rd July

Pupil Free Day 
Staff Spirituality Day 
End of Term 2

Monday, 20th JulyTerm 3 Begins
Pupil Free Day
Staff Professional Development Day
Tuesday, 21st JulyStudents commence Term 3


McAuley Library Joins In On National Simultaneous Story Time

National Simultaneous Story time is an event hosted by the Australian Library and Information Association which is held in libraries Australia wide. Its purpose is to promote literacy and the joy which reading can create. This year the selected text was the extravagant and comical picture book 'Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas' by Lucinda Gifford and here at McAuley the whole team got involved to bring the book to life. We would like to extend a thanks to our enthusiastic audience of staff and students and we hope to see even more participants next year. 

For those students who might have missed NSS this year, you can drop by the library and borrow a picture book or two. In an article written by Deborah Takahashi, author and librarian, she discusses the vast benefits of teens reading picture books. Today’s picture books have a greater level of sophistication that can engage with teens covering aspects of culture and emotional wellbeing, as well as the more obvious play on words and language features.


School Bus Notice - Upcoming Diversion to Route 711 and 712

Due to the constrictions of Parramatta Light Rail, Route 711 for both directions will be diverted via Hawkesbury Rd, R>Hainsworth St, R>Park Ave, R>Railway Pde, then turn right or left at Hawkesbury as required to current route. 

Route 712 to Parramatta will be diverted via Hawkesbury Rd, R>Hainsworth St, R>Park Ave, R>Railway Pde, L>Hawkesbury Rd to Parramatta. 

The changes will be implemented from 6th June. All affected students should use Westmead Children's Hospital, Hawkesbury Rd (Stop ID: 214515) for boarding and alighting buses.

Covid-19 - Tips for Travelling With Sydney Trains

Sydney Trains has passed on the following information sheet with tips on how to travel safety at this time. 

CathWest Innovation College

CathWest Innovation College is enrolling now for 2021. Their Facebook Live events have already been held but interested students may like to contact the College directly for information on what is on offer.

Sydney Metro West Project Update - A Message From The NSW Government

Sydney Metro’s first virtual information session is now open

Sydney Metro invites you to visit our first virtual information room where you can navigate through Sydney Metro West project information the same way you would at one of our community information sessions.

From your smart device, you will be able to explore project information, read our planning documents and listen to our project experts. You can also use our interactive project map to understand what Sydney Metro West would mean for your area. 

Sydney Metro creates more than just railway stations

In recognition of the size of the project, we will seek approval for station buildings at a later stage in the environmental assessment process. We will work closely with communities on how best to integrate stations that are thriving, welcoming hubs that deliver easy connections to the local area. We place a great focus on creating easy journeys from door to door, which includes integrating our network with other public transport modes as well as walking and cycling links.

To learn more about the design principles that will shape station design and precincts hear more from our Design Director Johnathan Richardson.

Do you want to contact us?

We are making Sydney Metro West project information as easy to access as possible.