Macquarie Fields High School

Loyalty, Sincerity, Generosity

Telephone02 9605 3111

Emailmacfields-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

June School Newsletter

12 Jun 2020

Two Special Education students measuring their results in Science

From the Relieving Principal

A message of gratitude and commendation

I need to start my newsletter edition by thanking our learning community of students, staff, parents/carers and citizens for their support during a period of remote learning for our students. I am so proud of what we were able to achieve as a learning community in a challenging time. As Relieving Principal, I really appreciate the kind words and gratitude that our school received during this time. Our staff at our school worked incredibly hard both at school and whilst working from home in the support of our students. Thank you!

This edition of our newsletter features the faculties of Special Education and Science. Enjoy reading about our passionate staff and students. This article is an impressive feature of the great teaching and learning at our school and provides insights into how these faculties educated our students whilst they were learning from home.

I have asked our staff to send commendation letters to our students to acknowledge the great work that our students did while they were learning from home. I am pleased to announce that in the May/June period there has been over 1000 letters of commendation sent to our students. These letters of commendation illustrate the dedication that our students and staff have for learning. Well done!

Semester Awards

Our normal Semester Awards Ceremony has been cancelled, however we will still be acknowledging our students for their dedication to their studies with letters and certificates to be issued. I look forward to presenting these to our students at the end of Term Two.

Year 12 Reports and Higher School Certificate (HSC) Trial Examinations

Our Year 12 reports have been posted to our students and their families. I strongly encourage our parents/carers to read these reports with their children. The reports provide valuable feedback and should be used by our students to improve their performance in their HSC.

Our Trail HSC Examinations are scheduled to start on July 30 and conclude on August 14.

Staffing Update

Congratulations to Ms Sangeeta Hegde who has been successful in gaining a substantive role at our school as Head Teacher Teaching and Learning. Ms Hegde has an exemplary record of outstanding teaching and leadership and we are very lucky to have her at our school.  I am also excited to announce that Ms Monica Vij will be joining our Mathematics Faculty as a classroom teacher.

Reporting Update

Please be advised that there has been a delay in the completion of our Years 7-11 reports due to COVID 19. We are in the process of writing our Year 11 reports and we are modifying the design of our Year 7- Year 10 reports. Our revised publication dates will be provided.

Transforming the physical environment at MFHS

We have recently had a range of outdoor seating installed around the school and this includes bench seats that have been put into our Bus Bay Area. This area can now accommodate over 100 students. Improving our physical environment has been and will continue to be an important whole school improvement. In addition to the newly constructed seating areas our school has also seen our physical environment improve with the following projects:

  • Garden areas at the front of school and inside school being transformed
  • Outdoor chess table
  • Increase in bench seating in quadrangle area
  • Values Garden
  • Sincerity Garden
  • Re-design of the Memorial Garden
  • Transformation of our Outdoor Shelter
  •  Transformation of our Agricultural space being re-designed as an Environmental Learning Space. This spaces features an Aboriginal Garden and a community garden area referred to as “The Patch”
  • Indoor and outdoor gym spaces
  • Tables and benches being painted in our school colours
  • The hall being transformed with the installation of over 65 flags that represented our school. We still have some other flags to be displayed.

I need to acknowledge the great work of Mr Don Dean, Mr Roger Worthington and Mr Kevin Testa. Furthermore, a huge thanks to Mrs Jasmine Brooker for her administrative support.

This is an impressive list and it was pleasing to see the feedback that was provided from our Year 12 students who graduated in 2019. A number of these students made special mention of how our physical environment had improved. There is still much work to do and we should be very excited about other projects that can be completed to improve our school environment.

Parents and Citizens Association (P and C) Meeting

The P and C meeting Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday 15 June 2020 commencing at 6:30pm, in the Hall.

At this meeting we will have a representative from our uniform supplier Lowes who will be presenting some exiting new uniform designs that have been made in consultation with our students and our P and C Committee.

Mr J Perrett

Rel. Principal

Year 8 - 11 Selective Entry 2021

Applications for entry to the Selective stream at Macquarie Fields High School are now open and are available on the website or from the front office.

  • Applications close 30th July 2020.
  • Testing Date: 1st August 2020.

For enquires speak to Mrs Tracy Smith - 9605 3111.

Special Education Faculty

During the semester the Special Education Faculty transitioned from face-to-face to mostly online learning. Due to the incredibly hard work of my staff, the support of our parents and carers, and the diligence of the students, we had have over 90% of the Special Education cohort engaging with online learning through Google Classroom and attending Live Tutorials through Microsoft Teams. As a faculty, we made our best effort to provide our students with the support they needed in order to meet their individual needs even during these challenging times.

Some of the academic programs included:

Agriculture

Mr Grimes’ Stage 5 and 6 Agriculture class has been particularly exciting this year, as both courses have a large practical component. Despite students having limited access to the Environmental Learning Space and the Patch during the period of working remotely, they have still been able to learn about growing plants and vegetable gardening by seeing and doing. Mr Grimes has showcased his home demonstration garden during Live Tutorials, and almost learned the hard way that laptops do not react well to being watered! Students have learned that there are a variety of simple and inexpensive ways to create self-watering pots using recycled material such as soft drink and milk bottles. A number of students in the class have already created similar pots planted with herbs and vegetables for their own use. 

English

Ms Ford’s Green English class completed a unit on the Science Fiction genre in Term 1. In Term 2, the class studied a novel by Roald Dahl a novel Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Blue English class spent the first term studying The Maze Runner by James Dashner, and have embarked on a film study unit for Term 2. Mr Grimes’ Gold English class have consolidated their writing skills by continuing with their Phonics program and working on a basic writing skills unit.

History

Ms Ford has been doing a wonderful job engaging students with History. Stage 4 and 5 classes have studied topics including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, World Wars I and II, and the Industrial Revolution. During this time, the Elective History class have explored Viking and Native American civilisations. Our senior Ancient History students focused on Ancient Rome at the beginning of the year, and are currently engaged in a study of King Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Mathematics

Stage 4 and 5.1 students have developed their skills in Algebraic Techniques after spending the majority of Term 1 concentrating on Pythagoras’ Theorem and Trigonometry. Recently, our Stage 5.3 student, Joshua Tran, has just successfully completed his first assessment task on Surface Area and Volume. Students accessing the Life Skills curriculum in Mathematics are engaged in building essential life skills by interpreting calendars, working with time and calculating with Money. Thanks to Mr Plowes and Mr Nguyen from the Maths faculty, students in Special Education classes are also able to access the HOTMATHS online platform to practise their new skills.

Music

In term 1 students in the Special Education Elective Music Class had a great time studying Medieval Music. They listened to, arranged and performed a range of music from the Medieval Period. Students created their own arrangements of pieces using a variety of instruments. It was pleasing to see the increased confidence and abilities of students in performance.

In Term 2 students begun their studies of Latin American Music. Students have completed an introductory unit and listened to the Tango. Student have all adapted well to learning online. Mrs Mafi is looking forward to meeting all the students when they return, and wishes all students in our Year 9 Elective Music Class all the very best with their studies.

PDHPE

The theory component of the PDHPE syllabus has allowed staff to support students in developing essential life skills. In Term 1, students built on their self-care skills by completing units on personal hygiene and nutrition. Mr Grimes and Ms Ford are focusing on cyber safety during Term 2, which is most apt in our current situation! Students are responding well to this content, and are enthusiastically engaging in discussion during Live Tutorials.

Science

Students in Ms O’Sullivan’s Gold Science class began the year learning about forces, and are now applying their knowledge in the study of energy in term 2. During this time, students working from home have completed activities to support their learning using the Stile online platform. Many thanks to our Blue and Green class Science teachers, Ms John and Ms Raheja, who have been incorporating Stile into their classes since the beginning of the year and were very helpful while Ms O’Sullivan had her L-plates on!

Xavier, Remarn, Kieran, Dominic and Mia testing the friction generated by various surfaces

Dylan and Dominic demonstrating temporary magnetism

Society and Culture

Year 11 students had an excellent start to their course examining the ways in which individuals and groups demonstrate aspects of culture, and some of the factors influencing identity development. Year 12 completed a major unit of Work on Dark Tourism, culminating in an examination of ethical practices and potential impact on the environment, communities, cultures and individuals.

In Term 2, Year 11 and 12 are learning about the evolution of Telecommunications in human society, and how advances in technology throughout history have shaped the ways in which we experience, communicate and interact with the world around us.

STEM

Our STEM class took great enjoyment in designing and building marble runs in the first unit of the course. The students had the goal of creating a prototype that would allow a single marble to complete its run in exactly 60 seconds. In their design process, students had to consider factors such as friction, gravity, mass, and inclined planes.

During Term 2 the STEM class will be designing and building bottle rockets. Our most sincere thanks to Ms Hannaford for her patience with Ms O’Sullivan’s frequent confusion and for her generosity with teaching programs and resources until the arrival of Mrs Chilla, who has now taken over the class

Visual Arts

We were very pleased to welcome Ms Langley and Ms McDermott back to Special Education in 2020 as they took up our Stage 4 and 5 Visual Arts class. The students have had a wonderful time using a variety of materials including paint and clay to create their artworks. The Term 1 program was entitled Animals in Art, with a particular focus on dogs. Winni Hoang and Dominic Castro from Year 9 created pieces that were particularly impressive. I am looking forward to see the work the Visual Arts class creates during this term as they begin to explore realistic and abstract portraits

We are incredibly proud of our students, who for the most part continue to adapt well to an ever-changing landscape and engage with learning activities. Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen students step out of their comfort zone and take charge of their learning by communicating with staff via email and telephone, work hard on improving their digital literacy, and negotiate multiple online learning platforms, printed material and live streamed lessons. We are also grateful to our parents and carers for their patience with us and support of their children while they learn at home amidst the demands of work, social distancing, uncertainty and all the other challenges with which we are currently faced.

I would like also to take this opportunity to recognise the outstanding work undertaken by Mrs Wood, Mrs Harper and Ms Lees, who are our faculty SLSOs. They were invaluable in making contact with parents, sending packages home, assisting during Live Tutorials, setting up classrooms for social distancing, ensuring the equitable distribution of cleaning equipment and monitoring online classrooms to identify areas for our students. My most sincere thanks and appreciation!

Best wishes for good health and wellbeing to all.

Ms Philippa O’Sullivan

Relieving Head Teacher, Special Education Faculty.

Science Faculty News

Well, it has been an interesting start to 2020. However, it does appear that we are currently in a good place to continue our learning.

The Science Faculty would firstly like to thank all the students and parents/guardians who were able to transition to online learning at a moment’s notice. Thanks to everyone who was able to get back to us quickly to ensure all students were working productively in these interesting times.

Every student in science has had access to online learning tools even before the pandemic struck, so, for the most part, it seemed that the majority of science students coped reasonably well.

There were a few little hiccups along the way with a bit of confusion.

Online learning

The faculty has been using online learning for a number of years, so our transition was relatively smooth.

In the junior years, all students have access to Stile. Stile is an online learning platform designed to relate science to things going on in the real world. For the past few years, we have also been using it for some assessment tasks.

Year groups have also had a Google Classroom devoted to resources for that year group. Most classes will also have a Google Classroom for their own class.

Seniors have Google Classrooms as well as access to Edrolo, which provides information, videos and quizzes for every syllabus outcome. The intention is that this is a thorough study tool that works in parallel to the work done in class.

If you have any questions or comments please contact me. Email is best,

william.matchett@det.nsw.edu.au,  use #2020 in the heading so it goes into the right email folder for me.

Accelerated Science Program

We are in the second year of our accelerated stage 5 program.

The first cohort, this year’s Year 10, have gone from strength to strength. Their results at the end of last year were phenomenal and showed that despite some of the students feeling a little stressed at the start of 2019, they were able to meet the challenge.

In fact, some of the feedback we got from students was that by the end of the year many had gained new confidence in their ability to push themselves a little harder.

They are currently halfway through completing Year 11 Investigating Science. Once again, most of the students are working to a high standard.

This year’s Year 9 are also working well, but have obviously had a few disruptions during the year. Now that we are back to face to face lessons, their teachers are confident in their abilities to maintain the high standard we expect of them.

Again, if you have any questions, please contact me via the email above.

Activities & Incursions

Before remote learning, we were still able to get a couple of activities in:

Forensics

Year 11 & Year 10 Investigating Science took part in a forensic science workshop early in Term 1. This related to their coursework as it involved them using their observational skills and making inferences to solve a notorious crime.

Some arrests were made in the role plays.

Year 12 Biology - UNSW Museum of Human Disease

In Term One, Year 12 Biology students were given the opportunity to visit the Museum of Human Disease at UNSW. After an exciting trip by train and the all-new Sydney Light Rail, students enjoyed a day observing real specimens showcasing a variety of human diseases and conditions. Students also participated in a variety of activities related to infectious and non-infectious diseases as well as genetics. Highlights included: viewing the ovarian teratoma specimen, watching real footage of fluid being drained out of an individual with severe liver disease and having a photo taken with the resident skeleton. Students also enjoyed lunch in the UNSW food court and went home satisfied with a highly productive and informative day out.

Other events

We have had to cancel some events, such as the Year 12 Chemistry Day at Western Sydney University; A Year 12 Physics Day at Sydney University & a Year 11 Physics Day at Luna Park.

A Year 9 enrichment day at Wester Sydney University in August has also been cancelled, but we are still hopeful that a planned Year 11 Investigating Science trip to the new Sydney Zoo and the Year 11 Biology Field Trip can still go ahead.

Mr B Matchett

Head Teacher Science

The Careers and Transition Hub

The Careers Faculty at Macquarie Fields High School is dedicated to providing students with an abundance of information and experiences to best prepare them for what comes next after high school.

All students should check their school email weekly for forwarded career information and opportunities.

In the Careers and Transition Hub students have access to current information on Universities, TAFEs and other training organisations. There are also significant resources outlining different occupations and career paths with assistance in developing job skills, job searching and job applications. Our students can utilise these resources during recess and lunch and can organise meetings with the Careers Adviser or Transition Adviser during this time or by appointment.

 

Useful websites for students

www.myfuture.edu.au

www.tafensw.edu.au

www.uac.edu.au

www.studyassist.gov.au

Staff in the Careers & Transition Hub

Mrs Judy Buckler (Head Teacher Administration/Careers Adviser) Monday - Friday

Ms Melissa Purdon (Transition Adviser) Monday - Wednesday

Useful information from the Department of Education

Interpreting and translations

https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/multicultural-education/interpreting-and-translations

Novel Corona Advice for Parents and Caregivers

https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families