Macquarie Fields High School

Loyalty, Sincerity, Generosity

Telephone02 9605 3111

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

February Newsletter

10 Feb 2021

Collage of year 7 on their first day

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

 

Such a warm welcome

I cannot be more certain that I made a wise decision in coming to Macquarie Fields High School, as I am a very happy Principal. I am so impressed by all staff, and can feel the passion they all have for this school. I can already sense that students are known, valued and cared for here at MFHS and I hope I can make everyone in the school community feel they are also known, valued and cared for by your new principal. I have an amazing group of Deputy Principals to work with: Heather Costa (Year 7 & 10), Luisa Trieu (Year 8 & 11) and Justin Perrett (Year 9 & 12).  Could I please take a moment to thank Justin for his leadership of the school as Relieving Principal since the retirement of Jan Dolstra. He has done an amazing job and I have been able to easily take over the reins of a high functioning, quality public school.

"Senior Executive are here to support teachers and families in the important work you do with our young people"

It was wonderful to welcome Year 7 on Friday 29 January and I would like to thank the Year 7 Wellbeing Team for such wonderful organisation to ensure a great day for all. We understand that parents were a little nervous to let them go in the morning, but I hope we reassured you that we knew what we were doing and they’d be safe with us!

I am also impressed with the quality of student leaders at this school: whether taking on responsibility for assisting Year 7 students to settle in and giving up their own time to support fellow students, or running assemblies and planning fun and exciting occasions for their peers. Clearly, they follow the school motto of loyalty, sincerity and generosity.

It was very exciting to see all our students back together again on Monday 1 February, ready and raring to go for another great school year at Macquarie Fields HS. As I walk around the school, students from all year groups have been most welcoming and friendly and are getting used to having lots of photos taken of them. I believe a picture tells a thousand words and can help to portray a sense of community and our values at Macquarie Fields High School. Please follow the school’s Facebook page and my Twitter account if you wish to see regular photos and reports on life at MFHS. 

Quality teaching and learning

The depth of talent in the teaching staff at this school is to be commended; we have expert teachers who have great passion for what they do, not only in terms of specific subject content, but in the desire to always improve and become better teachers. Not because they are not good enough but because, as we expect with students, it is important to have a growth mindset in our role as classroom practitioners too.

I was thrilled to be able to congratulate our Head Teacher Technologies, Grant Byrne on his belated acknowledgement with the DATTA* Teacher of the Year Award for 2019. The presentation of this award was delayed due to COVID last year. As you can imagine, a national teaching award is quite a prestigious honour, one which few will achieve in their careers, so I was so excited to present Grant with his award – from one proud Technology educator to another.

*Design & Technology Teachers Association of Australia

Calling all parents…I really want to meet you!

I firmly believe that if schools work in partnership with parents/carers there is a much greater chance of educational success for all young people in our care.

Our first P & C Meeting for 2021 will be held in both face-to-face and via zoom. We will have a Covid-safe plan in place for our meeting scheduled for 6:30pm Monday 15 February in the School Hall. I will provide some refreshments at this meeting, as I know that after a long day we all deserve a little treat before dinner.

It will be my first chance to meet the hard-working P&C Executive and I encourage all of you to come along and meet other parents and school staff.

Warm regards

Karyn

Karyn O’Brien, Principal

News from the Deputy Principals

Years 7 & 10

Welcome to all our families for the 2021 school year. An especially warm welcome to our new parents and carers.

We are all hoping for a wonderful school year after the disruption of 2020. The start of the year has clearly demonstrated that our students are ready to learn and bring their best to school every day. As a school this makes us very proud!!

Wellbeing Team Year 7 & 10

Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to Mr Troy Neale for the outstanding work he did in 2020 as the Rel. HT Teaching and Wellbeing. He showed care and dedication in supporting students and staff.

This year we welcome back Mrs Imelda Judge who has returned to us and is settling back into the role of HT Teaching and Wellbeing.

Students in Year 7 are supported through their Year Advisor, Miss Kate Moore and Assistant Year Advisor Miss Hayley Holden. Year 10 are supported through their Year Advisor Miss Sam Bell and Assistant Year Advisor Miss Chanel Wano.

They are an exceptional team who truly care for all students.

Year 7

Year 7 students had an amazing first day! They followed a special program devised by the Wellbeing team. Despite the rain Year 7 still managed to enjoy their first day at High School.

Year 7 completed their Best Start assessments in Week 2. The information from Best Start is important as we look to understand our new students and work towards getting to know them and how they learn. Thank you to Mrs Sangeeta Hegde (HT Teaching and Wellbeing) for coordinating the best start program for Year 7 this year.

At this stage we do have a camp booked for Year 7 for August this year at Berry. Of course, we will need to keep an eye on the COVID situation, however, we are hopeful that Year 7 can get to go on camp this year.

Year 7 received their diaries on their first day and I hope that they are using their diary on a daily basis to help plan and keep a track of class requirements and homework. It is always best for students to pack their bags for school the night before, taking away the stress from the morning routine. Some classes require students to remember extra equipment and having the time the night before to be prepared for school is a great routine to establish.

Overall, I am very proud of Year 7 and how they have quickly adjusted to High School and to you our parents and carers for your support.

Year 10

This is a significant year for Year 10 as they work towards the achievement of the first formal qualification that goes towards their RoSA (Record of School Achievement). Many of our parents will remember the School Certificate. The RoSA was implemented to replace this and students will need to satisfy the requirements of the RoSA prior to going into Year 11 and finally their HSC year.

I will be conducting meetings with Year 10 to go through their assessment booklet and the requirements that they need to fulfil to achieve the Year 10 component of their RoSA.

It is important to mention that if requirements are not met a letter will be sent home to inform you that there is work outstanding. The purpose of this letter is to help students understand what it is that needs to be handed in to resolve the letter of warning.

Letters can be sent home for incomplete work and assessment tasks that are not submitted. This is another reason that good attendance at school is so important. Missing class due to poor attendance can leave students not completing course content and therefore not satisfying the requirements for their RoSA. We want all of our students to succeed this year.

I am in no doubt that Year 10 will work hard and achieve their very best in 2021. They are quickly becoming young men and women with very bright futures who continue to set a great example to our younger year groups.

Please see the link below for more information regarding the RoSA from the NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) website:

https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/leaving-school/record-of-school-achievement

We are also looking forward to offering Year 10 students the opportunity to be Peer Support leaders in 2021. Students who are interested will need to complete an application. I am really wanting as many Year 10 students as possible to start to look at leadership opportunities and opportunities to be involved in school extra curricula activities. This is a great way to learn new skills and make new friends.

Heather Costa

Deputy Principal Year 7 & 10

Years 8 and 11

From the Deputy Principal Year 8 and 11 Mrs Luisa Trieu

A great start to 2021:

  • Thanks to all members of the community who have come together to bring such positive energy and excitement to the start of 2021.
  • Teachers and SASS worked hard in preparation for 2021 and I would like to thank them for their enthusiasm in planning for the success of our students. The main focus of our Staff Development Days were to ensure we knew our students and how best they learn.
  • Students have returned well rested and ready to engage in their learning and our school events. It was great to see all students return to school in February and provide us with the reminder of what we are working for and planning for; the success of our students.
  • Please remember parents/caregivers that as we transition into new year groups and stages of learning we are available to help, through making contact via email or phone.
  • Along with that I would also like to extend my gratitude to the SASS staff who contribute so much to the fabric of our school and the support that we are able to provide to our students and parents/caregivers

This forum provides a great opportunity to introduce the Teaching and Wellbeing Team that will support Year 8 and Year 11 this year.

Year 8 and Year 11 Teaching and Wellbeing Team:

I feel honoured in my role as Deputy Principal to continue working alongside the outstanding teachers of the Year 8 and Year 11 Teaching and Wellbeing Team who support all students and their families.

On our team we have:

  • Head Teacher Teaching and Wellbeing: Ms Sangeeta Hegde
  • Year 11 Adviser: Ms Carol Fong
  • Assistant Year 11 Adviser: Mr Tim Wood
  • Year 8 Adviser: Ms Betul Er
  • Assistant Year 8 Adviser: Ms Vivian Lai

We had some fantastic days toward the end of last year to congratulate the students on all their efforts and achievements in 2020. The team mentioned above devised exciting and fun activities that built team spirit and were a celebration of the achievements of all. I would like to thank the team for their ingenuity and excitement in planning these events that gave students a chance to have some fun and work together after so much was denied them due to COVID19.

Year 8 Report

Individual Education Plans (IEP): At the end of 2020 the Head Teachers of  Teaching and Wellbeing worked with our Year 8 students in the drafting of their Individual Education Plans.

The IEP is designed to give our students the opportunity to provide teachers with more information about our students’ interests and their involvement in extra-curricular activities. The IEP process also assists our students in identifying and creating SMART social, academic and personal interest goals.

In 2021 we look forward to using the IEP process to ensure that every student at MFHS is known, valued and cared for.

Year 8 students have had an excellent start to the year and shown significant interest in their subjects, particularly in the area of STEM. Below is some brief information regarding STEM and its place in education.

STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Through STEM, students develop key skills including:

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • critical analysis
  • teamwork
  • independent thinking
  • initiative
  • communication
  • digital literacy.

Why is STEM important?

The global economy is changing. Current jobs are disappearing due to automation and new jobs are emerging every day as a result of technological advances.

The continual advances in technology are changing the way students learn, connect and interact every day. Skills developed by students through STEM provide them with the foundation to succeed at school and beyond.

Employer demand for STEM qualifications and skills is high, and will continue to increase in the future. Currently, 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest growing industries require workers with STEM skills. STEM empowers individuals with the skills to succeed and adapt to this changing world.  

Year 11 Report

Our Year 11 students have begun as senior students and have taken on the role respectfully and enthusiastically. They look fantastic in their senior uniforms and have begun senior classes with great diligence as reported by teachers. I have worked with this group since they were in Year 8 and have always been impressed by their sense of community, their passion for learning and the deep respect they show their teachers. Although I have to do a double take when they walk by now as seniors I am very proud of who they are becoming and the contributions they make daily to the culture of our school.

Privilege Pass Day: Year 11 Senior Day

A note was sent home to parents/guardians detailing the Senior Day and how it can be utilised by students. It has been very well received so far.

Senior students with no incomplete N Award Warning Letters and an attendance rate above 85% have the choice of coming to school for private study or staying home to do their own private study one Friday each fortnight. Parents will have the option for their child to remain at school to access school resources on this day if that is their preference.

Year 11 in 2021 will have their Privilege Pass Day on the Week B Friday of our two week timetable. As Deputy Principal I am responsible for tracking the students’ eligibility. The Year 11 Senior Day can be used for internal assessments, excursions and other school events thus minimising disruptions to class time and supporting effective assessment procedures.

The Year 11 Senior Day has allowed increased access to the Learning and Support Teacher (LaST) and Transition Coordinator. This provides students with regular opportunities to access specialised staff and improve work completion.

Settling into courses and a diverse curriculum pattern

As we progress in the next few weeks, Year 11 students will be accessing learning at different times and may be accessing early classes, late start to school or early leave from school. These privileges will not be put into effect until subjects are finalised for all students. I would encourage all parents/caregivers to read through all documentation arriving home pertaining to these privileges. It would be relevant to discuss with your child the importance of maintaining focus, maintaining their excellent reputation as a year group and their personal drive to achieve their best. The privileges are meant to support the diverse curriculum pattern of senior school but also prepare our students for future studies as adults.

Welcome back everyone and I look forward to this year of achievement.

Mrs Luisa Trieu

Deputy Principal

Year 8 and Year 11

From the Deputy Principal Year 9 and 12: Justin Perrett

A huge thanks to:

All of our students, staff and parents, carers and citizens for all the support that you have given to me over the last three years whilst I have been Relieving Principal and Co-Principal. It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to have been in this position and I can’t say enough thanks, for the support and guidance that I have received. I absolutely love our school and I will always cherish the experiences that I had as your leader. I’m excited about the future for our school and I look forward to having the opportunity to work with our new Principal Karyn O’Brien as a member of our senior executive.

To our students: You are our ‘why’. I know that we have been hit by a rainbow by having such amazing young adults to educate.

To our parents and citizens: We are blessed at MFHS with the support that we get from our community. Our school enriches our community and I thank our community for the trust and faith that you have in our school. 

To our SAS Staff: Thank you for everything you do for our school. You are the backbone of our school and our school simply would not function without you. Thank you for the laughs and professional support that you have given to me. I do need to specifically acknowledge Jasmine Brooker for her support as SAM and the office crew who I worked with closely on a daily basis.

To our Teaching Staff: Thank you for everything you do for our students. You only have to talk to our kids to realise the amazing impact that you all have on their lives. Educators are life changing and you are all changing/influencing the lives of young adults. It is our students who will be our future leaders in our society and to me the position of a teacher holds true purpose.

As we start a new school year in 2021 at Macquarie Fields High School, I would like to introduce the teaching and Wellbeing Team that I will be working with.

Year 9 and Year 12 Teaching and Wellbeing Team:

In my role as Deputy Principal, I have the privilege of working with an amazing Teaching and Wellbeing Team that supports all students in Years 9 and 12.

On our team we have:

  • Head Teacher Teaching and Wellbeing: Ms Melissa Collins
  • Year 12 Adviser: Ms Rhiannon Hall
  • Assistant Year 12 Adviser: Mr Josh Luc
  • Year 9 Adviser: Mr Alex Colless and Assistant Year Adviser Mr Sean Duncan

At the end of 2020 our Relieving Deputy Principal Mrs Veronica Mafi was appointed as a Deputy Principal at James Busby High School. I want to take the opportunity to thank Mrs Mafi for her outstanding service whilst she was relieving as Deputy Principal. She will do an outstanding job in her new role. Furthermore, our Year 9 Assistant Adviser Mr Patrick Robertson was successful in gaining a permanent position at Moorebank High School and we are in the process of filling this position. I would like to thank Mr Robertson for his work at our school and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.

Year 9 Report

Individual Education Plans (IEP): At the end of 2020 our Head Teacher Teaching and Wellbeing Melissa Collins and myself worked with our Year 9 students in the drafting of their Individual Education Plans.

The IEP is designed to give our students the opportunity to provide teachers with more information about our students’ interests and their involvement in extra-curricular activities. The IEP process also assists our students in identifying and creating SMART social, academic and personal interest goals.

In 2021 we look forward to using the IEP process to ensure that every student at MFHS is known, valued and cared for.

Elective Subjects

An exciting part of becoming a Year 9 student at MFHS is the opportunity for students to study three elective subjects. These elective subjects allow choice for our students and are popular components of our Stage 5 Curriculum Structure. Our elective subjects allow for aspects of project based learning and I look forward to working in this area with the Year 9 Agricultural Technology class that I have on my timetable.

Year 12 Report

Our Year 12 students have had an excellent start to 2021 and I look forward to working with them all in their pursuit of personal excellence.

Privilege Pass Day: Year 12 Senior Day

Senior students with no incomplete N Award Warning Letters and an attendance rate above 85% have the choice of coming to school for private study or staying home to do their own private study one Friday each fortnight. Parents will have the option for their child to remain at school to access school resources on this day if that is their preference.

Year 12 in 2021 will have their Privilege Pass Day on the Week A Friday of our two week timetable. As Deputy Principal I am responsible for tracking the students’ eligibility. The Year 12 Senior Day can be used for internal assessments, excursions and other school events thus minimising disruptions to class time and supporting effective assessment procedures.

The Year 12 Senior Day has allowed increased access to the Learning and Support Teacher (LaST) and Transition Coordinator. This provides students with regular opportunities to access specialised staff and improve work completion.

I wish all our members of our learning community a safe and fulfilling 2021.

Kind regards

Justin Perrett

Deputy Principal

Year 9 and Year 12

Macquarie Fields High School’s New House Points Scheme for 2021 and Beyond.

This year, in our school’s 40th anniversary, we are implementing a brand new and unique House Points scheme. We think it will lead the state and give our staff and students a sense of School Spirit and pride. The scheme was developed by the House Points Sub-Pillar of our Wellbeing Pillar team which has worked on this idea for three years. The team was led by Mr Celestino and included Ms Brooker, Ms Moore, Ms Holden, Ms Gonzalez, Mr Antony, Mr Colless, Mrs Majarich, Miss Doan, Mr Rompies, Mr Smith, Mrs Buxton and others during the three years.

NEW HOUSES:

We are changing the house icons from American Cartoon Families – Addams, Jetsons, Simpsons, and Flintstones to local bird species. There were many reasons for this, including that the school a few years ago voted to retain the existing houses and not take up local sport heroes.

The new houses are: Rosella (Green); Firetail (Red); Honeyeater (Yellow) and Bellbird (Blue).

These are all Australian birds and inhabit the local area and have a link with our local Indigenous people. We also think that the change of house colours from orange and black to red and green is also a benefit.

POINTS AND SCORING:

The school has bought a new scoreboard which we think will be the envy of many other schools. It has the house names and shows the up-to-date house point scores in glowing white lights!

There are four categories available for students to be awarded house points in this new scheme.

  1.  Academic- Excellence in assessments, examinations, improvement, topping a subject, achieving a high grade in a RoSA course and many more opportunities.
  2. Sport- Making a grade team, winning at a carnival, showing improvement in a skill, helping others develop skills (coaching).
  3. Extra-Curricular- joining and participating in any of our wonderful extra-curricular activities- Future Teachers, Chess, Moana.
  4. School Values- Students who go above and beyond, displaying the school values at school and outside, helping, showing initiative, many more opportunities.

The Point Values: 

All House Points will be accrued in values of 5 or 1 only. 5 being for excellence (e.g., top of class or activity) and 1 for engagement (e.g., participation and school values).

Points will be tallied regularly throughout the year.

We are working on allowing all staff to access the Sentral House Points tile and be able to add points themselves during the year. Hopefully this will be done by the end of term one.

PBL Points (1 for each under values) will be added each week. Mr Celestino will electronically update the scoreboard.

Sports Carnival Points will be tallied by the PE staff at the Carnivals and the results will be given to Mr Celestino to update the totals.

There will be a board (like we currently have for the Dux and the Principals) for the “House of the Year”. The house will be named, and the score achieved displayed, e.g., 2021 Firetail 3467 followed by the House Captains names.

The winning house will have a BBQ lunch and their names will be put into a special draw for prizes, which we hope will be spectacular.

ROLLOUT:

During term one PBL and Sport Carnival points only will be accrued. Term 2-4 all categories will be rolled out.

Mr P Celestino

Head Teacher Social Science

House Points Team Leader.

NEWS FROM Creative and Performing Arts

The Creative and Performing Arts faculty are looking forward to a busy and productive year in 2021.

We welcome back our passionate staff, Heather Davidson and Amanda Langley in Visual Arts and Luke Bozzetto and Heather Costa in Music. We also welcomed a new addition Matt Lee into Music, relieving for Minh Thi Tran while she is on Maternity Leave.  And I, Lisa McDermott am looking forward to leading the faculty throughout the year, as I stepped into the Relieving Head Teacher role in Term 4 of 2020.

I am pleased to share that over the Christmas break we had some of our Visual Arts students’ works on display at the Casula Power House Museum. These students were selected for the Annual Mil-Pra AECG Exhibition and Art Prize. We are extremely proud of their efforts. Congratulations Mikayla Stendell, Allison Brown, Connor Taylor-Carpio, Benjamin Noud and Montanna Byrne. 

Towards the end of last year we worked to create our new Covid Safe Ensembles Policy. We created this policy to ensure that we can run our ensembles safely throughout the year. We have a woodwind and string ensemble on offer and also new bucket drum, ukulele and guitar ensembles. We cannot wait to get them up and running. 

It is lovely to hear our Music rooms abuzz during break times as we are now able to have students practising again.

We wish all our students a successful start to 2021. In particular our Year 12 students as they embark on their final year of schooling, and as they continue to develop their Bodies of Work and Music performances.

Mrs Lisa McDermott

Head Teacher Creative and Performing Arts (Rel) 

Science News

HSC Success

Firstly, the faculty would like to congratulate Addison McDonagh from the 2020 HSC cohort for achieving 3rd in State for Investigating Science. In light of all the interesting times we had last year, this just shows what students can achieve by hard work and dedication.

In general, the faculty would like to congratulate the entire 2020 cohort who achieved great results.

High Performance Pathway

This is the third year that the faculty has been engaging Stage 5 & 6 students in the accelerated or High Performance Pathway (HPP). We have had great success with the first two cohorts, with a significant number from the first year currently studying Year 12 Investigating Science.

This process has generated high engagement from students, who have excelled in the course work and assessments given to them.

The video below shows you a virtual tour of the scientific model exhibition we had with the HPP students in Year 10 last year, studying the Year 11 Investigating Science course. While it was a hectic day, we were able to showcase the fantastic work done by students, and show potential HPP students what they might achieve in the future.

This year there are more students undertaking the HPP, including our first community class, who have shown with our diagnostic data that they are more than capable of taking on the challenge.

Year 10 selective students have started Year 11 Investigating Science and we look forward to their Model showcase later this year.

This course allows students to develop their scientific skills and will allow them to be better prepared for both the HSC and for their post school life. Whether that be further study or just being able to better discern “fake news”.

If parents have any questions please contact me at school.

If some students are having issues with any aspect, whether it be work in class or assessments, the faculty will be offering additional support on Mondays at lunchtime. We will also be utilising the experience of previous students in year 11 & 12 to help students in year 9 or 10 who are struggling. Essentially Stage 6 students will be High Performance Coaches (HPC)  for any students who need help.

New technology & online learning

In term 4 last year, the faculty was involved in a trial of using chromebooks in a classroom setting. The trial was so successful that we have purchased a class set for use in and around the faculty.

The faculty under take some training with facilitators from Google which will help enhance our use of technology within the classroom.

While we are providing resources, students should also feel free to bring in their own devices under the Department of Education’s BYOD program.

Every course in the faculty is supported by a Google Classroom. This will provide you with access to all class and assessment materials.

In addition to this, Stage 6 2 Unit courses have access to Edrollo, which provides an additional resource.

Stage 4 & 5 courses are working in STILE and will have at least one assessment task done through the platform.

We look forward to working with you all this year.

Bill Matchett

Head Teacher Science