Macquarie Fields High School

Loyalty, Sincerity, Generosity

Telephone02 9605 3111

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

August Community Newsletter

27 Aug 2020

Woodworking project from Technologies Faculty

Shout-out to our support staff in schools

24 August 2020

SAS Staff Recognition Week is a wonderful opportunity for our school communities to thank our support staff for their dedication to public education.

Every day in our public schools there are 35,000 School Administrative and Support Staff who help keep our schools running efficiently and provide comprehensive support to principals, teachers and parents.  

Our SAS staff play many roles supporting the efficient management of schools, including administration, health and safety, asset management, project management and finance.  

They include school administrative managers and officers, school learning support officers, Aboriginal education officers, business managers, assisted travel officers, technical support officers, general assistants and farm assistants.  

SASS Recognition Week, which starts today, is an initiative of the Public Service Association – supported by the department – to promote the work and role of SAS staff.  

These staff are often the first point of contact for parents and play a vital role in customer service. With an incredible year so far – bushfires, floods, COVID-19 – our staff have had to be increasingly flexible to adapt to changing scenarios and pandemic restrictions.  

On behalf of the Department of Education, thank you for your service and commitment.  

Source: NSW Department of Education  

A guide to NSW school students for Term 3 

 Last updated 21 August 2020  

We're working closely with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), NSW Health and other agencies to ensure our schools continue to operate in the safest ways possible during the COVID environment.  

Schools are operating full time while actively following health advice.  

Schools continue to be safe, and operations are in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health advice. All students should be learning on campus unless they are unwell or have a medical certificate to support their absence.  

The activities that are permitted at school will be conducted in a way that is safe and appropriate in the current environment. Those that remain on hold will be reviewed during the term and will recommence when appropriate based on health and other relevant advice.  

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW  

Check the Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW and follow the recommended actions if you have been in a location where there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19. We encourage members of the community to monitor this site. Please follow the relevant health advice if you have been at any of the locations at the specified dates and times.  

The locations along with the times and dates of when the cases were identified can be found on the NSW COVID-19 website.  

School attendance  

Students should be at school unless:  

  • they have a medical certificate which states that they are unable to return to school due to an ongoing medical condition and the expected timeframe  
  • they are currently unwell.  

In accordance with advice from NSW Health, parents and carers are reminded NOT to send children to school if they are unwell, even if they have the mildest flu-like symptoms. Schools will make arrangements for students who present as unwell or have flu-like symptoms to be sent home.  

NSW Health have requested that schools encourage anyone who is unwell or has even mild flu-like symptoms, to arrange to be tested through their local medical practitioner or one of the COVID-19 clinics.  

Students and staff with flu-like symptoms will need to provide a copy of a negative COVID-19 test result before being permitted to return to school.  

Schools are not required to conduct widespread temperature screening or mandate the wearing of a mask.  

All schools will be vigilant when implementing infection control, physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Schools will promote the need to follow good hygiene practices such as:  

  • regularly washing hands  
  • avoiding sharing drinks or food  
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately  
  • filling water bottles from bubblers rather than using the bubbler directly.  

All students and staff who reside in or have visited Victoria must have a permit to enter NSW and are required to comply with health restrictions relevant to their permit which may include the need to complete the 14 day self-isolation period commencing the last day they were in Victoria.  

School activities/school site usage  

Following recent advice received from NSW Health, we are implementing additional safety measures for school activities. These have been put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools for the remainder of Term 3.  

The following principles underpin these measures:  

  • Where possible, students will stay within their relevant cohort group (i.e. class, year group, or stage) for all learning activities within their school in order to limit close contacts to the relevant student cohort.  
  • Interschool activities must remain within the local community or zone. This applies to all interschool sport and physical activities, curriculum activities, arts activities and extra-curricular activities organised or sponsored by the school. Schools must not travel outside of their local community area. Metropolitan schools cannot travel outside their local area or to regional areas. Regional areas cannot travel into metropolitan areas or other regional areas. Find your school's sport zone.  
  • Only providers that are essential to the delivery of curriculum can continue to provide services and programs until further notice.  
  • Parents/carers and other non-essential visitors are not allowed on the school site.  
  • All group singing (choirs) and/or other chanting activities, as well as the use of wind instruments in group settings, are not permitted. Wind instruments include anything that students will need to blow into using their mouths. Special arrangements are in place for HSC students.  
  • Year 11 and 12 students completing HSC subjects may continue to attend classes/activities relating to subjects only available on other campuses. All other students including Year 11 students not completing an HSC subject are not to attend other campuses for the remainder of Term 3. TAFE and other Vet programs may continue.  
  • School formals, dances, graduation or other social events are not permitted. Schools may hold a Year 12 assembly at school without parents to recognise the completion of school. Schools may consider delaying events until later in the year.  

Activities/site usage that can take place  

  • Use the school library  
  • Engage in sporting activities within restrictions  
  • Canteens and uniform shops can open at the principal’s discretion  
  • All VET work placement, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, and work experience for students can proceed subject of availability of placement, appropriate risk assessments and an employer COVID-19 Safety Plan. For any VET work placements that can’t proceed please see the NESA website.  
  • School-based apprenticeships and traineeships can recommence once the relevant workplaces are back in operation and a COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place  
  • Trade Training Centres can operate on school sites with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place  
  • School assemblies (limited to 15 minutes and no external visitors)  
  • Students may attend other schools for essential curriculum related reasons or placements (e.g. auditions or placement tests)  
  • Hydrotherapy pools can be used  
  • Incursions/external providers can provide activities that support delivery of curriculum (e.g. music tutors, sport skills development programs, science demonstrations, drama tutors, Healthy Harold)  
  • Day field trips to outdoor locations with no physical distancing requirements can take place (e.g. DoE Environmental Education Centres and sport and recreation facilities, trips to the local river to collect water samples)  
  • Face-to-face TAFE attendance (see TAFE website for further information)  
  • School photos  
  • Department of Community and Justice services and programs  Community use agreements involving adult attendance must have a COVID Safe Plan in place  
  • SRE/SEE lessons within restrictions  
  • Work experience for students with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place  
  • P&C meetings and events must be on-line only  
  • Parent/teacher meetings will be online unless involving serious matters that require face to face discussion.  

Activities on hold for Term 3  

The following events will be reconsidered in Term 3. For now, these events must remain on hold.  

  • Kindergarten orientation - visit the department’s transition resources for some helpful ideas to keep families and students engaged in preparation for 2021.  
  • Year 7 orientation has been delayed until Term 4  
  • School camps  
  • Excursions (other than field trips explained above)  
  • Interstate excursions  
  • International excursions (cancelled until further notice)  
  • All students (except year 12 students) attending classes/activities relating to subjects only available on other campuses  
  • School or community-run playgroups  
  • Face-to-face professional learning for staff. Refer to the Physical distancing guidelines.  
  • Parent and carer attendance at assemblies and other school events  
  • Parent and carer volunteers – e.g. parent reading helpers (note: canteen and uniform shop volunteers are permitted)  
  • School-based activities that involve large gathering of adults. These include parent/community gatherings such as parent functions, working bees, fundraisers, school BBQs, large parent information evenings, and large on-site cultural events  
  • Interschool sport, drama, debating and other events that are not within the local community or zone including gala days and regional sporting carnivals.  
  • Certain large arts and sports events are cancelled or delayed. Many large-scale arts events and sports tournaments rely upon feeder activities and have long-lead-time organisational arrangements. As a consequence, a number of annual activities are planned to be delayed or cancelled (refer to Impacts on arts and sports events programs)  

Activities that are cancelled  

  • Certain large arts and sports events are cancelled or delayed because they require feeder activities and have long lead time organisational arrangements. Please speak to your schools if you would like to know more.  
  • International excursions are cancelled until further notice.  

Opportunity Class test update  

Opportunity class testings for 2021 has been rescheduled to 18 November 2020. Refer to the OC updates page for the latest information.  

Physical distancing  

Physical distancing of students in schools is not required under the AHPPC guidelines.  

All teachers, support staff and parents must maintain physical distance from each other (1.5m).  

Parents should ensure school pick up and drop off arrangements enable them to physically distance from one another and from staff.  

Tightened NSW-Victoria border restrictions  

The amended Public Health Order changes will have an impact on students and staff traveling across the NSW-Victorian border.  

From 7 August, the border restrictions will be tightened further with the border zone defined to townships along the Murray River including Mildura, Wodonga and Echuca.  

Under the updated Public Health Order, any person who already has a valid day school visitor permit will continue to be able to use this permit for 14 days, until midnight on Friday 21 August. This permit will expire after Friday 21 August.  

From Friday 21 August, for people living outside the border zone in Victoria, permits will only be considered for the following persons:  

  • Students attending a School for Specific Purposes will be eligible for a permit through the NSW Government website
  •  Year 11 and 12 students and HSC teachers will be provided with an Authority to travel letter through their school. Students and staff issued with the Authority to travel will need to ensure that they carry a copy of the letter at all times. Parents or guardians transporting Year 11 or 12 students will also need to ensure that they carry a copy of the letter when transporting their children to and from a NSW border school.  

Please note that Victorian residents who reside outside of the border zone will not be able to enter NSW to attend school unless they obtain an exemption.  

Any student or staff member currently residing inside the Border Zone will be able to continue crossing the border to attend school or work as long as they stay within the Border Zone.  

All students and staff not eligible for a border permit will be supported with remote learning and working through the online learning hub until they are able to return to work or learn on campus.  

Victorian border zone residents authorised to enter and remain in NSW for a permitted purpose with a valid border permit are not allowed to travel outside of the NSW border zone. They must also not enter NSW if they have travelled outside of the Victorian border zone within the previous 14 days.  

All border zone residents must self-isolate for 14 days if they have travelled outside the border zone upon re-entering NSW unless their border permit specifies otherwise. If they entered Victoria other than for a permitted purpose, they must also self-isolate.  

The NSW border changes will also require all people entering NSW from Victoria who do not reside in the border zone to arrive through Sydney Airport. Staff members will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine. The following requirements will apply to students:  

  • They will be required to enter through Sydney Airport.  
  • Students will need to be collected by a parent or guardian at Sydney Airport.  
  • They must travel directly to their usual residence in NSW using private transport.  
  • They must complete a 14 day quarantine period at home.  
  • If they start to feel unwell or have flu-like symptoms, NSW Health advised that they arrange to be tested through their local medical practitioner or one of the COVID-19 clinics.  
  • They will be subject to regular follow-up and will be required to provide a signed self-isolation declaration and return a negative test result prior to leaving self-isolation.  

Details of the current advice for people who have recently visited Victoria can be found on the NSW Health border restrictions website.  

Schools will communicate with families and will facilitate learning continuity relevant to student needs.  

We encourage parents to monitor local circumstances regularly as things may change in the coming days or weeks.  

For more details about the border zone restrictions, refer to the NSW Government’s Apply for a COVID-19 NSW border entry page.  

School cleaning and hygiene supplies  

Your school will continue to receive additional cleaning in line with the AHPPC guidelines and advice from NSW Health. Target areas include high-touch areas and other hard surfaces, door handles, lockers, light switches and handrails in stairways and movement areas. There will also be additional cleaning of toilets and bubblers and topping up of supplies like soap.  

Your school has received supplies of soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes and personal protective equipment. The school is able to order more as needed.  

Essential hygiene supplies  

To support NSW schools during COVID-19 and help keep them safe, we've secured and dispatched a range of products including soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and personal protective equipment.  

Standard packs of hygiene products continue to be dispatched to schools. The packs include liquid soap, hand sanitiser, paper towels, surface spray, disinfectant wipes. Quantities are calculated on the number of habitable spaces at each school. Schools can continue to request supplies through the School Supplies email address.  

Reporting and assessment  

You will receive your child’s semester 1 report before the end of August (Week 6, Term 3).  

This will be a simplified version of the report you normally receive. Schools are encouraged to discuss your child’s progress with you before the written report is issued.  

Responding to COVID-19 cases  

There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with NSW Health and will communicate with parents if a situation arises. Read more about our Response protocols for COVID-19 cases.

Boarding schools  

The following requirements will apply to students returning to reside at a NSW boarding school:  

  • Students returning to reside in a NSW public school from Victoria must self-isolate for a period of 14 days in suitable accommodation separate from the boarding school/college.  
  • They must have a negative naso-pharyngeal swab for COVID at day 10 of isolation.  
  • Prior to the school accepting the student back within the boarding facility, parents and carers will need to provide written confirmation to the school that their child has self-isolated for the 14 day period since they were last in Victoria and returned a negative test result prior to leaving self-isolation.  

Transport  

Bus services to and from schools are scheduled to run as normal. For travel advice to and from school, refer to Transport for NSW.  

Last updated: 21-Aug-2020

From the Deputy Principal Years 7 & 10

Year 10- Preparation for Year 11 Subject Selection

Taster Week is a great program that has run in the school over a number of years providing all students with an opportunity to sample the Senior courses on offer at our school. This week long program timetables teachers with expertise in these senior areas of study as guest presenters who introduce students to the types of activities, skills and areas of study required in each course. The week is designed to foreground the importance of students choosing subjects they find engaging. As research indicates student engagement builds better relationships with peers and teachers. Students who feel engaged demonstrate more effort, experience more positive emotions and pay more attention in the classroom.

During this week students have been provided with a copy of the ‘Decision Time- The Higher School Certificate- Year 10 into Year 11 2021’ booklet and been presented with information regarding curriculum requirements for senior school and options available to all students. Copies of the presentation and booklet can be found on our school website.

Following Taster Week (August 10 – 14) a team of teachers will meet with each individual student and support them in choosing subjects for Year 11. These teachers will utilise information collated from an online survey completed by our Year 10 students and will be supported by the collective knowledge of our Careers Adviser, Mrs J Buckler and our Transitions Adviser Mrs M Purdon.

Following the interview process the subject selection portal will be opened for all students giving them a week to make their selections as the school prepares for 2021. I would like to remind parents and students that Mrs Buckler, Mrs Purdon, Ms Hegde, myself and the team are always available to help and support students in the transition to senior schooling.

Some useful articles on the importance of student engagement:

https://www.unifyed.com/blog/learn-why-student-engagement-initiatives-are-important-for-academicsuccess#:~:text=Student%20engagement%20also%20builds%20better,are%20necessary%20for%20driving%20change.

https://www.cese.nsw.gov.au//images/stories/PDF/Supporting_high_academic_expectations_synthesis_paper.pdf

Year 7- Peer Support program and a successful start to High School

Year 7 has shown great resilience and concerted effort during the first semester of high school. Although this complex time is not ideal, students (with their parents support I am sure), engaged positively with online learning and joining the Year 7 Google Classroom.

Peer Support has also been a highlight demonstrating our strong school priority in the areas of wellbeing and high expectations. Students have been able to develop relationships across their own year group and with senior peer support leaders. Catch up sessions and opportunities to engage In these groups will happen but have obviously been postponed due to the learning from home period and recommended social distancing guidelines.

Teaching and Wellbeing Team Report

I am very proud of all the work our Teaching and Wellbeing Team has achieved this year. Guided by our Relieving Principal - Mr Perrett and fellow Senior Executive – Mrs Trieu and Mrs Costa, it has been a real pleasure to lead such a dedicated group of professionals. I thank Ms Collins, Mr Colless, Ms Hall, Mr Luc, Mr Robertson, Mr Antony and Ms Farrington for their wonderful work as a team.  Despite new challenges, these staff continued to build their knowledge of learning and wellbeing supports. They have worked hard to engage students in meaningful well supported learning experiences at school or when students were learning from home. I would also like to thank our school counsellors and support staff for their invaluable assistance this semester.

I would like to thank all parents and carers of students in Years 8 and Year 11 for your wonderful support throughout this semester. Your collaboration and feedback has been invaluable. As a team, we continue to refine our teaching and wellbeing practices and work to support individual and groups of students to strive, connect and thrive. 

Thank you all very much.

Mrs V. Mafi - Deputy Principal (Rel.) – Years 8 and 11

Teaching and Wellbeing (Year 8 & 11) – Head Teacher Report

Term 3 is already shaping up to be a busy term for the Year 8 & 11 Teaching & Wellbeing Team.

Term 3 is the final term of Preliminary Studies for our Year 11 students, and we are so proud of our Year 11 students’ dedication to their studies this year. Year 8 will soon be selecting Elective courses for study in Year 9 and our Year 8 students will be participating in an Electives Expo at school to help them to understand the range of Elective options available to them.

Term 2 was a challenging time for our learning community, and our broader society. We are so proud of the resilience and flexibility our students have demonstrated when faced with adversity and rapid change. Despite the many challenges that we must all continue to deal with, our students, parents and carers have demonstrated that they live the school values of loyalty, sincerity and generosity.

A sincere thanks to all of the parents and carers who worked with our school to support our students during the learning from home period, and throughout the return to face-to-face learning. Thank you to all of the parents, carers and students who called the school, or emailed a member of the Teaching & Wellbeing team, to ensure that students were connected to their teachers and able to continue to learn. Thank you to all of the parents, carers and students who took the time to speak with a member of the Teaching & Wellbeing team during our phone check-in calls. The feedback you provided allowed us to better understand our students’ needs, reflect on our processes and make necessary changes to ensure our students were appropriately supported. Thank you to all of the students who, having received a Wellbeing Pack in the mail, expressed their gratitude to a member of the Teaching & Wellbeing team. Thank you to all of the students who, upon returning to face-to-face lessons, took the time to complete a ‘Learning from Home Survey’. Your feedback was honest, informative and generous.

The Teaching & Wellbeing Team is looking forward to continuing to support students and their families in Years 8 & 11 throughout Term 3.

Ms M. Collins – Year 8 Head Teacher Teaching & Wellbeing 

Year 8 - Year Advisor Report

Firstly, I would like to begin by thanking all of Year 8 for their hard work and dedication throughout the year so far. There have been significant hurdles that we have had to overcome and it has been wonderful, in the second half of Term 2, to be able to have the bright faces of Year 8 back in our classrooms and gracing our corridors.

Term 2 was a mammoth term for students, staff and parents alike. During the period of learning from home, students were able to communicate with the Teaching & Wellbeing Team, and each other, via the Year 8 Wellbeing Forum on Google Classroom. This forum remains active, and will continue to be used by the Teaching & Wellbeing team to provide our Year 8 students with resources and information to ensure they are supported. I would particularly like to thank our Year 8 students for their support and willingness to follow all the procedures and directions that have been put in place to keep everyone safe, healthy and hygienic whilst at school. I would like to thank parents for their support in providing a safe learning environment for students during the period when students were learning from home, as well as embracing the dynamic nature of learning at the moment despite some significant challenges.

Upon their return to face-to-face lessons, Year 8 students were asked to complete a survey about their experience of learning from home. Reading through the students’ responses, it was so warming to see that in an age of technology the vast majority of students were equally excited and looking forward to socialising with their friends and following their school timetable routine once again. I think that reinforces just how important structure is for moulding young minds.

Take care, wash your hands and I look forward to a brighter Term 3.

Mr A Colless - Year 8 Advisor

Year 11 Year Advisor Report

As we all know, it has been a tough year. First, we had the fear of bush fires. The smoke from the bushfires impacted our school, preventing students from engaging in outside sports. There was flooding. Now, we have Covid-19, which has again impacted the way that students are able to interact at school, limiting the outdoor activities which many of our year 11 students enjoy.

However, through all of this, including the period of remote learning, our year 11s have proven themselves to be resilient, caring and self-advocates. Students have reached out to their teachers, as well as to me, Ms Collins, Mrs Mafi and Mr Antony when they needed support or felt that they were falling behind in their learning. Students have advocated for themselves and their peers, identifying what resources and teacher support will help them to achieve their learning goals. Most impressively, our students have learning goals. Their desire to achieve in the courses they have selected for the preliminary studies is evident in the level of engagement of our students during the period of online learning.

Thank you to parents and carers who supported year 11s during the period of remote learning. 70% of students who were surveyed on returning to face to face learning said that they had access to a device and the internet whenever they needed it while learning from home. 50% of the surveyed students said that they were confident or very confident at using online platforms, which again demonstrates our students’ resilience as they navigated a new way of learning.

One of my highlights during this very challenging period of remote teaching and learning was hosting Zoom meetings that many year 11s joined where we had afternoon tea and just connected at a time when we were all feeling a bit disconnected. I met some of year 11’s pets and they met my dog, Xena.  It was also a pleasure to speak to many of the year 11s and year 11 parents over the phone during the remote learning period.

Before Covid-19 began to impact our school and community, many year 11 students engaged in a learning program to gain leadership skills as they prepared to run the Peer Support program with our year 7 students. There are so many year 11 students who have demonstrated leadership skills from year 7 until now and the high interest of year 11s in volunteering for the peer support program demonstrates the caring nature of our students who wanted to make year 7 feel welcome and safe in our school.

 The year 11 cohort has a Google Classroom is where they can access important documents and communicate with the wellbeing  team who are here to support students in any areas that they may need help.

Ms R Hall – Year 11 Year Advisor

Hello to all our parents and caregivers.

The Wellbeing Team for Year 9 and 12 is made up of:

  • Mrs Heather Costa – Deputy Principal
  • Mr Troy Neale – Head Teacher Learning and Wellbeing (Relieving)
  • Mrs Sarah Gibbs – Year 12 Year Advisor
  • Ms Samantha Bell – Year 9 Year Advisor

Year 9

Year 9 have been working extremely well and have thoroughly settled back into normal school life since the ‘Learning from Home’ period. Students have been undergoing assessment and their reports are close to completion. The start of Year 9 is the start of Stage 5 and therefore they are now completing 3 Elective courses in addition to the compulsory hours in mandatory courses. Year 9 is an important foundational year. They are already working towards their first NESA credential of the ‘Record of School Achievement’

In week 5 of this term our Year 9 students will be undergoing online testing through the Department of Education’s program called ‘Check-In Assessment’. The ‘Check-In Assessment has been designed with two components in Literacy and Numeracy. Schools will have access to data that will continue to enhance our teaching strategies. Year 9 students have received a note in regards to the Check-In Assessment. The process takes one period and our students will complete this on 18th an 19th August. The testing is in an online format. Mr Neale is coordinating the program and he would be happy to answer your questions. You can call the school on 9605 3111.

Year 12

Year 12 are currently remaining extremely focused and hard working. They have completed their Trial Examinations. At the conclusion of the Trials, students will return for the remainder of the term. Attendance at this time is crucial. For some courses the remaining time will be covering content and revision. These weeks are extremely important in the lead up to the HSC.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Year 12 Parents will have an opportunity to have a phone conference with their child’s teacher in Week 8. From the 7th -10th September staff will be conducting interviews over the phone with parents. Parents will shortly receive information about how to book an interview with staff through our regular online booking system. We see this time as crucial in being able to offer support to students about the best possible preparations to be making in the lead up to the HSC exams.

End of Term Activities for Year 12

At the moment we are currently making plans to mark the end of school for Year 12. Be assured we want to provide our students with a meaningful send off at the conclusion of their formal education. As you are aware there are still significant restrictions for schools in regards to COVID and this means we need to make changes to our typical Graduation Ceremony for Year 12.

We did meet with Year 12 in regards to their formal event and how these restrictions would impact on their formal. Students have then been able to see that information though a Google Form and respond as to whether they want to move ahead with a formal in the current COVID times.

Thank you to our wonderful community for their ongoing support of your young people and our school.

Mrs Heather Costa

Deputy Principal

Years 9 and 12 

Mathematics Faculty News

The Mathematics Faculty would like to thank students, parents and caregivers for their cooperation during the remote learning period.  Despite the challenges presented to all, we managed to remain positive and focussed on each other’s wellbeing and still managed to sneak in some learning as well.  This collaboration while working towards collective goals continues to prove that at our school “EVERYONE COUNTS IN MATHS”

The beginning of Term 3 brought the addition of a new Mathematics teacher to our faculty.  We warmly welcome Mrs Vij who replaces Mr Ngo as a full time teacher.  Mrs Vij brings decades of mathematics teaching experience to our school and she does look forward to working with our community to produce the best outcomes for her students.

Year 10 students are in the process of selecting their Stage 6 Mathematics courses for 2020.  A reminder to parents that Mathematics is not compulsory for the HSC. So when your child tells you this, it is true.  We will begin information sessions during mathematics classes for Year 10 selections to ensure that all students are well informed and are acutely aware of the different requirements and standards for each stage 6 Mathematics course.  We have attached the proforma that students will receive and we strongly encourage parents and carers to discuss the information with their child.

This is the NESA link to courses offered.

We thank students for their positive mindset and enthusiastic approach to learning upon their full time return to classrooms.  Below is a small snapshot of the evidence of this.

Maths in Action

The Technologies Faculty – Design, Create, Inspire

The Technologies staff includes Mrs J. Chilla, Mr L. Deakin, Mrs L. Fernando, Mrs G. Gonzalez, Mr M. McVicar, Mr C. Petersen, Mr F. Pinget, Mrs V. Shipley, Mr Smith, and Mr G. Byrne (Head Teacher). We are fortunate to have Ms Hannaford (Teacher Librarian) coordinating the Year 8 STEM course.

For 2020 we’ve embraced the idea of online learning by converting all of our Moodle resources into Google Classroom resources. This has enabled students to access the required resources to participate in online lessons and receive feedback from their teachers. While Covid-19 has had an impact on our courses, we are committed to delivering the highest quality practical experiences possible. During the learning from home period some teachers continued to work from school and were able to improve our practical learning environments by refinishing work benches in 3 rooms, modifying and refinishing tool cabinets in 4 rooms and completing general maintenance across all of our rooms. 

We’ve continued to modify our work for the Technology Mandatory course to better suit the needs of our students. This has involved the integration of new technologies such as a digital embroidery machine, dye sublimation printer, 3D printers, laser cutter and CNC router, to compliment the traditional hand skills students are given opportunities to develop.

New Agricultural Technology and Industrial Technology – Engineering courses have been implemented for the first time. The Agricultural technology class has been redeveloping The Patch, including organising the garden beds and new Vegepods in a way that can be irrigated using a system they are soon to design and create. They are also making PVC gardens to take home and grow their own plants.

The Industrial Technology – Engineering class has been working on structures, building towers and bridges using two different methods. The towers are made using individual timber members that the students cut and assemble to hold the most load possible. The bridges are cut from a piece of plywood using the laser cutter creating two sides, a top and base. Students have developed methods for joining the pieces as part of their designs. Later this year they will be working on mechanisms, disassembling and rebuilding bicycles.

Students are also working on a CSIRO Generation STEM project, looking at the Western Sydney Aerotropolis scenario that incorporate United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This culminates in a competition held between other schools in the region, at Campbelltown Art Gallery.

During the past school holidays Mr Deakin and Mr Byrne converted the electronics room into and Engineering/Rapid Prototyping room. It now features the laser cutter, 3D printers, tensometer, hardness tester, technical drawing equipment, desktop vacuum former as well as more traditional forming tools. From next year this will be equipped with a data projector and become the Engineering room.

Subject selection time is now upon Year 8 and Year 10. This is a great opportunity for students to select subjects they are interested in and will provide them with experiences related to the fields of Engineering, Design, Manufacture, Agriculture and many other STEM fields. We are very lucky to have teachers who can deliver these courses at a high level, as numerous schools around NSW are unable to even offer some of these subjects to their students.

Students choosing electives for Year 9 will be able to select from the following Technologies subjects:

  • Agricultural Technology
  • Design & Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Graphics Technology
  • Industrial Technology – Engineering
  • Industrial Technology – Metal
  • Industrial Technology – Timber
  • Information & Software Technology 
  • Textiles Technology

Students choosing electives for Year 11 will be able to select from the following Technologies subjects:

  • Community & Family Studies
  • Design & Technology
  • Engineering Studies
  • Food Technology
  • Industrial Technology – Graphics Technologies
  • Industrial Technology – Timber Products & Furniture Technologies 
  • Software Design & Development

All of the subjects offered by the Technologies faculty directly relate to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Our subjects are those that apply the theoretical content, such as scientific principles and mathematical concepts, through the use of various technologies and engineering design processes. The Technologies faculty creates meaning for content by developing knowledge, skills and understanding through contextualised project based learning activities.

For the 2019 HSC, students who studied our subject performed extremely well. Engineering Studies, Software Design & Development and Industrial Technology marks were all above the state average and were among (and included) the best performing subjects in the school. For almost all students, their Technologies subjects were their best or second best HSC subject results.

Given the huge societal demand for STEM skills, can your child afford not to study a Technologies subject? 

Year 11/12 VET Hospitality – Food & Beverage

Mrs Fernando has been leading the two classes of Year 11 students, and Mrs Shipley the Year 12 students, through the skills needed to be successful in the world of hospitality. These are used by a number of our students with casual employment, either while they are at school or later, when attending university or working full time. 

We are hoping for a commercial kitchen upgrade in the future.

Year 11/12 Community and Family Studies

Mrs Shipley and Mrs Gonzalez have been leading the class through a study of the role of parents in all their forms and how carer relationships are important in society. Other contemporary social issues studied include resource management, families and communities, parenting and caring, and the world of work and its role in society. Students develop planning and writing techniques for essay type questions. In Year 12, students undertake an Individual Research Project (IRP). The topic for the IRP is selected by each student and reflects an area of their own special interest. Mrs Shipley and Mrs Gonzalez have also offered the Year 12 class extra study time after school on Thursdays to help the students achieve their best result possible for the course.

Year 11/12 Engineering Studies

Engineering Studies is an excellent introduction to the world of engineering and prepares students well for first year Engineering at university. One lesson each week dedicated to the study of Mechanical Analysis, Materials Science and Graphical Communication. It is primarily academic in nature, while providing a number of hands on opportunities to demonstrate the relationship between theory and practice by building models, destructive testing, heat treatment of metals and other experiences relevant to engineering. They develop an understanding of the scope of the engineering profession and study the latest developments in STEM areas. This course is delivered by Mr Byrne.

Year 11/12 Industrial Technology

The Year 12 Industrial Technology classes, both Timber and Graphics Technologies have been working at a furious pace to complete their Higher School Certificate Major Projects to a high standard by the revised 27th August due date. All students have spent a significant amount of time before and after school, during lunch and recess times and also during school holidays to complete a range of complicated and high quality projects. They should all be proud of the work they have completed, both with the practical project and the 80 page Research and Development portfolio that is marked along with the project. Mr Deakin teaches both Year 12 classes and has opened the workshops before and after school for the HSC classes throughout the course. Mr Smith teaches the Year 11 Timber class, Mr Deakin the Y11 Graphics class.

Year 11/12 Software Design & Development

Mr Pinget’s Software Design & Development classes have been busy planning and executing solutions to different problems, such as coding Encryption and Decryption programs using Python. Here is an example of these type of encryption code, called Caesar Encryption, where characters are shifted along the alphabetic sequence as many positions as the secret encryption key. 

Year 11 Software Design & Development were busy working on a code for Arithmetic and Geometric Series, delivering a solution using a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Here is part of the code used and the GUI generated by the code.

Finally, this Year 12 Software Design and Development completed a series of amazing assessments involving the coding of complex solutions, which in this case involved the use of Arrays to search and sort the order of the elements of the arrays and to find a specific element within it stating its position and value. The algorithms used for searching were the Linear and Binary Search, and for the Sorting algorithms, Year 12 SDD used the Bubble, Insertion and Selection Sort.

Following is an example of the code students developed and the Graphical User Interface that they generated executing the code: (only a small section of the code is shown)

Year 10 Information and Software Technology

During Term 2 the students from two different classes worked very enthusiastically on the programming codes to solve five different sets of problems. Students learned the basics of software development including for important development tools: Input-Process-Output charts, Flowcharts, Pseudocodes and Desk-checking.

These problems included:  solving quadratic equations and learning about complex numbers; temperature conversion between Celsius and Fahrenheit, simultaneous linear equations with three unknowns (students learned Determinants method in class), calculator of series and parallel resistors circuits (to calculate total resistance, current and voltage; and a Maze game.

Following are some pictures of the solutions, depicting the visual and modular approach to coding, something that makes it pedagogically accessible to everyone.

Simultaneous Linear Equations of three unknowns (x, y, z)

Quadratic Equations (Complex Numbers used in the solution, when the square root of (b**2 – 4ac) is less than zero)

Maze: This solution involves the creation of a maze and the associated code to navigate the sprite from the start of the maze to finish. If the sprite touches the wall I grows an extra size and gets back to the starting line. 

The Scratch coding used to make the Maze project work is shown in the following image.

Year 9/10 Food Technology

The Year 9 Food Technology class is being taught by Mrs Gonzalez and Year 10 by Mrs Shipley. They have been learning about food in our culturally diverse country and the importance of a nutritious diet. Students have researched unique food from countries that make up our diverse population as part of their study into different foods and cultures. Students enjoyed preparing a variety of dishes. From this they have progressed to investigating the composition of food and its contribution to a healthy lifestyle. They have looked at food which imitates each of the nutrients and as a result a mixture of healthy and not so healthy food will be prepared. Now they will adjust recipes to meet the specific needs of individuals within our society, such as diabetics.

Year 9/10 Graphics Technology

Mr Deakin, Mr McVicar and Mr Smith has led the students in Year 9 Graphics Technology through learning the fundamentals of graphics technology using the new syllabus. Using precision drawing, mathematical equations and some rendering, the students have completed a range of amazingly detailed drawings. Every new drawing is marked and the student with the highest mark is awarded the CWC (Class World Champion) title belt. The students are always eager and competitive to be “the champ”. Students are currently working on their ‘Lego’ figure.

Mr Deakin and Mr Smith are currently developing the Year 10 students’ skills in the area of Architectural Drawing project. They have completed an Engineering Drawing project and some hand rendered skill exercises that will help them achieve success in the HSC Industrial Technology – Graphics Technologies course if they elect to study it. The final unit for Year 10 is Cabinet and Furniture Drawing, where students will design their own piece of furniture, including all joinery details so it could be made in the school workshops.

Year 9/10 Industrial Technology - Timber

Mr Smith and Mr Deakin have the Year 10 class at the mid-way point of making a small table for their home. Every student in the class has made a unique design for the coffee table with drawings and sketches. Most of them have worked on their mortise and tenon joints, gluing up their legs and rails. They have a term remaining to complete the top, and then apply the finish. They are very excited to see the final outcome of their dedication and hard work.

The Year 9 class has been doing some great work with Mr Smith and Mr Byrne. Some students have been looking to extend their skills beyond the minimum requirements and have produced creative designs. The breadboard projects completed by this class were very good and they are now working on a picture frame, followed by a small box.

Year 8 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

This course is being studied by all Year 8 students at MFHS and is coordinated by Ms Hannaford. Mrs Chilla and some science teachers are delivering this course. It has a Project Based Learning approach, giving students the opportunity to apply scientific principles and mathematical concepts through the use of technology and an engineering design process. During Term 1, students collaborated in small groups to create catapults with the aim of flinging an object the furthest, or the most accurately. In Term 2, students worked independently. They created bottle rockets and examined the aerodynamic principles behind how they worked. A new record was set for the distance travelled, which now stands at 79m by Shivika Raj! The students also found out that two current MFHS teachers have been to the US Space and Rocket Centre! The course is currently focused on the Cardboard Arcade unit where students will learn about mechanisms and create an arcade game based on Caine’s Arcade. This has become a feature of the MFHS Celebration Day in the past and will continue into the future.

Year 7 Technology Mandatory

For 2020 we’ve continued to refine our delivery of the new Technology Mandatory syllabus. This includes Agriculture & Food Technologies, Engineered Systems, Materials Technologies and 50 hours of Digital Technologies.

For the Agriculture & Food context students have been using ingredients from the school vegetable patch where possible, and creating new recipes. Some digital content is integrated with each student developing a website to showcase their work.

Students are learning about force, motion and energy through the creation of wind chimes for the Engineered Systems context. The final product uses a wind force to move each chime in a pendulum motion. The chimes then convert that kinetic energy into a beautiful sound when they collide.

Materials Technologies is covered using timber, where the students make an acoustic speaker for their mobile phone. The timber unit also includes digital content, with students using a Computer Numerically Controlled router in their design. In textiles, students create a cushion using a range of traditional hand skills, the sewing machine, and a digital embroidery machine. Students also use a dye sublimation printer and press to fix their own design to a shirt or banner.

Students are making a sentry based alarm in the Digital Technologies context. This can be used as an alarm. It is based on Arduino, uses an ultrasonic sensor, and relies on the students to code the product to suit their situation. This will be the first cohort through using the new laser cutter to improve the students’ experience and achievement of outcomes for this unit.

News from PDHPE Faculty

New PDHPE Syllabus Implementation in 2020

The new PDHPE syllabus is being implemented for Year 7 to Year 10 this year. The new syllabus focusses on providing students with opportunities to enhance their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and participation in physical activity. Students develop self-management, interpersonal and movement skills to become empowered, self-confident and socially responsible citizens.

Year 11 Life Ready

Life Ready is a mandatory 25-hour course designed to prepare and support senior students as they encounter situations related to health and safety as they become more independent and gain more responsibilities. It focuses on offering opportunities for students to build the functional knowledge and skills for life post school.

The content of the Macquarie Fields High School Life Ready program is based on the needs and interests of students. This means that students are engaged in a program that is relevant to this cohort of Year 11 students.

This program will run during Week 10, Term 3. It will include workshops and year meetings. Life Ready is divided into six relevant and contemporary learning contexts including Independence, Respectful Relationships, Safe Travel, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Sexuality and Sexual Health, and Drugs and Alcohol. 

Swimming Carnival 2020

The annual school swimming carnival was held at Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre on Friday 14th of February this year, with a Valentine’s Day theme. It was a fantastic day and we were blessed with great weather! It was great to see a huge number of students in attendance and competing in the various races. This year was the first year we were able to access the ‘splash park’. It was great to see the students enjoy utilising this facility.

The Hume Zone Swimming Carnival was held at Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre on Monday March 2nd. We had a strong squad of 38 in attendance, coming in second place behind Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Chang-Chien Lin, Genevieve Mafi, Jack Bailey, Collin Touch, William Bui, Samuel Noud, Alyssa Su, Aneglina Lai, Erynn Tchann attended the Regional Carnival on March 9th at the Gordon Fetterplace Aquatic Centre and made it to the CHS State swimming carnival. Unfortunately this carnival did not go ahead due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

All other representative sport has been cancelled for the remainder of this year.

NSW Premier's Secondary School Sport Challenge 2020

The NSW Premier's Secondary School Sport Challenge aims to engage young people in sport and physical activity and encourages them to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

At Macquarie Fields High School, all Year 7 and Year 8 students are participating in class teams in a 10 week sport and physical activity challenge. Students in the elective Year 9 and 10 PASS classes, and Year 11 SLR classes, have been leading the challenge.

The Challenge is designed to encourage and engage students and staff in a 10 week program of sport and physical activity. Participants are challenged to accumulate time in physical activity, aiming to achieve Bronze, Silver, Gold or Diamond Awards at the conclusion of the Challenge period. Students were provided with a log book to record their physical activity levels.

To achieve a Premier's School Sporting Challenge Bronze, Silver, Gold or Diamond Award, teams must accrue the following average time in sport and physical activity over a 10 week period:

Awards

Daily average activity time per student

Average time in minutes per week per student

Bronze

30 minutes per day

210

Silver

45 minutes per day

315

Gold

60 minutes per day

420

Diamond

80 minutes per day

560

Any physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity can be used to accrue time for the Challenge.

Moderate activities can be as simple as brisk walking, bike riding with friends, skateboarding, yoga and dancing.

Vigorous activities are usually associated with activities such as football, netball, aerobics, soccer, running, fitness circuits, swimming laps and training for sport.

Opportunities for moderate to vigorous activity are also provided by:

  • incidental activity
  • playground games
  • organised sport competitions and physical education activities
  • outdoor adventure and physical recreation programs 
  • dance associated with the Performing Arts. 

Good luck to everyone participating in the 2020 Challenge!

Love Your Body Week Micro Lesson for Year 9 PDHPE

The national date for ‘Love Your Body’ week endorsed by the Butterfly Foundation will run in Week 8 of this Term (6th-12th September). During Year 9 PDHPE lessons, students will experience a micro lesson which will allow students to engage in celebrating diversity and building body confidence.

Did you know according to the Mission Australia National Health Youth Survey that 33.5% of young people in NSW consider Body Image to be a high concern or extremely high concern? These statistics are ever increasing and it should be a priority of ours to support and educate our students on this sensitive topic. Skills in media literacy, general awareness and support are required and should be a priority to provide the necessary support for our students to build body positivity.

Empowering young people = greater change!

NEW Outdoor Gym

The PDHPE faculty is pleased to announce the completion of our new outdoor recreational gym facility. The initial idea within the PDHPE faculty was to provide the South-West corner of Macquarie Fields High School with a facelift. This project would allow us to turn a relatively unused area of the school into a positive and exciting outdoor learning space with plenty of opportunities for further expansion in the future.

Mr Wood and Mr Luc completed a proposal, with the support of Mrs Mafi and the school received a grant from the federal government.  

 The Outdoor Gym has introduced a range of fitness equipment that is suitable for the whole school population, enabling all students and teachers with the opportunity to participate in physical activity.

Construction of the Outdoor Gym was completed early in Term 2, and created a new energy into the school when the students returned from their learning from home. Many classes have been able to use the facility in different capacities throughout PDHPE practical lessons, and different aspects of Physical Activity and Sports Studies as well as Sport, Leisure and Recreation. The feedback received from the students has been extremely positive and has injected a new energy into the school.

Learning Environments in PDHPE

Macquarie Fields High School has been fortunate enough to have a ‘facelift’ in numerous learning environments essential for safe and enjoyable participation in PDHPE.

The basketball courts and netball courts have been purposefully touched up along the edges and posts are now equipped with protector pads. The netball courts have been remarked with high visibility paint.  The courts not only look more appealing, they prevent major injuries from occurring.

The PDHPE classrooms have been decorated, whiteboards are available for outdoor use and bus shelter seating enables quality spaces for classes performing on the oval.

Finally, keep a look out for the hall gym as it will be ready to use very soon and the outdoor gym can now be utilised by students (and staff) to demonstrate their strength and skill. The PDHPE faculty are grateful for their improved learning environments. Thanks to everyone involved.

LET’S GET PHYSICAL!

Check out what students from Macquarie Fields High School got up to when learning from home in PDHPE. Using a range of resources, objects and household necessitates, students were asked to create, adapt and challenge themselves through activities to improve their physical fitness whilst learning from home. Students took initiate of their ongoing physical fitness by recording, logging and capturing their creativity when learning from home.