McAuley News

Term 2, Issue 4 - 8 May 2020


Today’s newsletter is quite different to the newsletter we would normally publish at this time of the term; naturally, school looks different at the moment. 

The need to adjust very quickly to a new routine has pushed us all beyond our usual boundaries. We have all responded to the demands made of us with great flexibility and precision, ensuring that we remain successful, effective and strong in an environment that has challenged so many of the routines and practices we were expert at.

There has been much talk about what we intend to keep post COVID-19 isolation; for each family, community and industry, the experience of remaining at home has shown us how we can do some things better. 

I would suggest that for all us, we have learned to dig deep into our faith, finding answers that we didn’t know we were looking for. We have remembered the value of family and of taking time together to relax and connect over new hobbies and activities. We have been reminded that our creativity inspires us, and that we can solve a range of complex problems, often simultaneously. 

These are important things to discover about ourselves. From our experiences we know that we are strong and resilient, that we are creative and that we are problem solvers, that we can change and grow. These are qualities we value in ourselves as adults, and qualities we work on inspiring in our children. We have all shown how we can ‘strive for higher things’.

This Ignatian reflection, Flexibility of mind and heart, offers some insights into these ideas.

Return to School

We are, of course, looking forward to the return to school of all students next week on their allocated days. Information about this was sent to parents, carers and students on Tuesday via SkoolBag and email. I have summarised the main structures later in the newsletter.

We will continue to plan for the gradual return to full attendance in accordance with government and CEDP guidelines.

I offer my thanks to you for your trust as we have followed and made decisions about the structure of education and the school day at Catherine McAuley. The wellbeing and education of your daughters is always at the forefront of our planning.

I would also like to most sincerely thank the teachers at Catherine McAuley. They have continued to provide excellence in caring for and educating your daughters in an extraordinarily complex environment. I know that I say this often, but I say it again, your daughters are very lucky to have their teachers.

As the term unfolds, you will see us continue to develop in ways that ensure 21st Century education for 21st Century women; we will continue our focus on offering a wide range of opportunities for students to excel in many areas, as well as in their personal and academic success.

Supporting Local Businesses - Catherine McAuley Business Directory

Recently we published a business directory listing businesses owned by Catherine McAuley parents. We have done this to highlight and support the families in our community in this time of economic challenge. If you are looking to employ one of the services listed here, we ask you to consider supporting the families in our community. 

If your business is not included and you would like it to be added, please contact Jacqui Hamilton, School Development Officer, at email or fill out this form.

I would like to thank Jacqui and the secretary of the P&F, Andrew Millen, for collating this information.

For your information, the Term 2 P & F Meeting is being held on Tuesday, 12 May at 6.00pm. This will be an online meeting and all parents and carers are invited to attend. The session will open at 6.00pm with the meeting formally starting at 6.30pm. Details to connect to the meeting are below:

 1 - go to "" in your web browser

 2 - click "join" in the upper right part of the screen

 3 - enter the meeting ID - 913 656 783

 4 - enter the password - ZbybvV3BJ35

Return to school details

  • The Return to School document sent on 5 May is attached.

  • Students return to school on the day indicated in the schedule.

  • All students will follow the bell times listed in the schedule, whether they are at home or at school.

  • Please email ( or call if your daughter is sick and will not attend lessons.

  • School buses are operating.

  • The canteen is operating from the Marist site, but students can order their meals online (instructions will be posted in the student notices).

  • School cleaning and hygiene protocols will be maintained. Students should bring their own hand sanitiser and tissues.

  • Students whose year group is not scheduled, but attend for intervention groups, extension or VET classes will work in the library for other lessons.

  • Students who are not scheduled to attend are still welcome to come to school. They will work in the library. 

  • Students who are sick should remain at home. Parents / carers will be called to collect students who are sick when they present to sick bay.

    Ms Mary Refalo 

    Happy Mother's Day

    We wish all our mothers a special day filled with family and love.

    A Prayer for Mother's Day

    Lord, we remember the mothers who have gone before us. 
    For their love, sacrifice, struggle and joy, we thank you.
    Lord, we remember the mothers of Scripture who are a part of our story as we are a part of your story.
    For their courage, faith, love and fierceness, we thank you.
    Lord, we remember those who have not given birth to us, but are mothers to us.
    For their gift of themselves that they have given, we thank you.
    For all women who are mothers, we thank you.
    For their tears, for their strength, for their care, for their wisdom, or their lives, we thank you.
     In your name we pray. Amen. 
    by Claire Schoepp


    School Launches Instagram Page

    The school has launched a school Instagram page which parents and students might like to follow as another way to stay up to date with school news. The page can be found by searching for ‘catherinemcauleywestmead’ from within Instagram.

    To launch the page staff have made a fun video reminding students that they are missing them and look forward to seeing them soon. Go to the page to view this video.

    A reminder that the school also has a School Facebook Page which is another platform for school news and events.


    If you are not a follower of the school's social media platforms below are some snapshots which have featured recently showing student work and lessons over the past weeks.

    Year 7 Personification Poems

    Year 7 students of Ms Tyszkiewicz have been working on personification this week and after analysing various personification poems they applied that knowledge and created their own poem in pairs. 

    Thursday Sport Zoom Fitness Sessions

    Ms Robson, Sports Coordinator, is encouraging students to continue with Thursday afternoon activities and has been running Zoom fitness sessions each Thursday. Any students on campus and invited to join as well as those students joining via Zoom from home.

    Zoom Classes

    Many of the teachers are in the classrooms and teaching via Zoom whilst others are Zooming their lessons from home. 

    Year 11 Industrial Technology Multimedia Vector Self Portraits

    Year 11 Industrial Technology Multimedia students of Mrs Hartman have been learning about vector graphics in class. They were tasked to design their own vector self portrait using the curvature and shape builder tools in Adobe Illustrator. 

    Year 7 Science Model the Water Cycle

    Year 7 Science students late last term were asked to model the water cycle using materials they had at home. The students observed their models at the different stages and wrote up their observations. Photos show some of the students from Ms Raja's class.

    Year 10 Visual Arts Create Digital Artworks Showing 'Where They Would Rather Be'

    Year 10 Visual Arts students of Ms Lane completed some beautiful digital artworks inspired by the topic ‘Somewhere Other Than Home'. Using online image editing tools, students created an image to communicate where they would rather be. 


    Subscribe to Skoolbag To Receive School Emails and Notices

    The school is now using Skoolbag exclusively to email parents and push out school notices. All parents are asked to subscribe to the Skoolbag to stay informed.

    The school name to search for is ‘Catherine McAuley Westmead’

    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