Dear Families

We find ourselves already almost at the halfway mark for Term 3. It has been a very unusual Term thus far, but, in these uncertain times, we have met the challenges presented to us and continued to thrive as a learning community.

Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Announcement 

Last week, it was announced that the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta have unanimously chosen Mercy Partners to protect the custodianship and continuity of OLMC into the future. All members of our community including our families, staff and ex-students, received an email outlining this decision last week. CLICK HERE to read more information.

Year 12 Information Session Livestream

Today we held a livestream information session for our Year 12 students and their families regarding updated information about the return to school and the Trial HSC Examinations. Details of these plans will be outlined in follow-up communications to all families.

Non-Government Schools Census 

Next week the College will be submitting the 2021 Non-Government Schools Census to the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. This process involves the Department collecting certain information about OLMC, its staff, and the student body. Please CLICK HERE to read more details about this process.

Online Learning ‘21

I invite you to read our Teaching and Learning section below to see some highlights of our Online Learning ’21 program.

Submit your Photos

In each newsletter this Term, I will be inviting our students to submit their pictures to be posted on our social media platforms. This is a great opportunity to share our experience with our community. This week we would love to see your photos that celebrate the Olympics! You can include your families too. Please submit your photos to social@olmc.nsw.edu.au. Please be sure to seek your parent's permission before submitting your photos.

Lucie Farrugia
Principal 


Virtual Friday Morning Prayer Service

Last Friday morning, the new Liturgy Leaders, Ebony and Alyssa, led our first Virtual Friday Morning Prayer Service.

It was a wonderful way to start the day and a reminder that, whilst we remain physically separated, we will always be spiritually near.

We prayed a decade of the Rosary and offered prayers for our families and loved ones.

Being together at this time allows us to find strength, inspiration and courage in the knowledge that we are part of a faith-filled community.

 

 

Father Daughter Liturgy

Our Father Daughter Liturgy will be held on 31 August during Pastoral Care. We are currently asking for photographs of our current students with their dad, grandfather or other significant male role models in their lives. These photos will be used in our online liturgy. Please email your photos to jessica.jordan@olmc.nsw.edu.au by 13 August.


Alyssa Dib

What is your Leadership Portfolio? Liturgy Leader             

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? Attend weekly Mass in the Chapel, lead prayer at Assembly and run the fortnightly Liturgy Group.    

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? My vision as Liturgy Leader is to grow the Liturgy Group and have more girls involved across all Year Groups. This will hopefully generate a more reflective and prayerful community.    

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? I completed my Grade 5 AMEB Piano Certificate at age 14.                          

What are your interests outside of school? Outside of school I enjoy trying new restaurants with my friends and family and playing Netball.

Chanel Achie

What is your Leadership Portfolio? Callaghan House Leader          

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? As the Callaghan House Leader, my responsibilities are to interact and engage with all students. I aim to be a helping hand, encouraging each Callaghan girl to try her best in Sports carnivals and in general at school.     

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? My vision for Callaghan in 2021-2022 is to action positivity; I desire to live out positivity as a Mercy Girl.       

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? I am up for any task, including adventures. I love to putting myself to the test physically and mentally.                          


Mathematics Report

Numeracy and Mathematics

“The Australian Curriculum states: Numeracy encompasses the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need to use mathematics in a wide range of situations. It involves students recognizing and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capabilities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully.” It is fundamental to a student’s ability to learn at school and to engage productively in society.

https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/resources/national-literacy-and-numeracy-learning-progressions/national-numeracy-learning-progression/what-is-numeracy/

At OLMC, Mathematics teachers seek to provide opportunities for students to develop their numeracy skills consistently throughout the year. They do this by relating what is being learnt in class to real-world and modelling contexts as often as possible and encouraging students to understand the concepts from a conceptual basis, rather than just applying rules and processes to find a solution.

In Year 7, classes have been accessing the ‘Numeracy Ninjas’ programme (https://www.numeracyninjas.org/), to consolidate and build basic numeracy skills and increase fluency in number skills. Used in Mathematics classes for ten minutes each lesson, the programme has provided students the opportunity to develop their basic numeracy skills and fill gaps where there may have previously been misunderstanding. They work in an environment where they are competing with themselves to earn a ‘belt’ that is equal to or higher than the one they earned in the previous lesson.

Year 7 classes have also practised indices, square roots and cube roots using flashcard problems, or “Hit the Button” online mathematics activities to assist with recall of mathematical concepts, while Year 9 used the ‘Scorchers’ in HotMaths to increase their fluency with Mathematical concepts. Year 10 classes have used the COVID-19 outbreak to explore the concept of exponential equations and graphs and to use this mathematical concept to understand why lockdowns were necessary with virus outbreaks.

Possessing good number sense is an important foundation for success in school and in society and there are many ways that parents can assist their daughters to continue to develop their numeracy skills at home. In 2020, the Australian Association for Mathematics Teachers provided this list of suggested ways parents can assist their students to develop their numeracy skills:

  1. Relate maths to real-life – discussing the uses of mathematics in the home to demonstrate how the content being learned in school can be seen at home
  2. Discover the beauty of maths – exploring mathematics as it appears in art or nature, music and architecture
  3. Cook together – cooking can assist students to see the applications of ratios and time in a practical context
  4. Encourage mental maths – encouraging students to work out the change from a purchase using mental strategies, rather than a calculator or waiting for the cashier to calculate it, using fractions when serving food and the like
  5. Work together – working on projects together, building or sewing can encourage mathematical conversations and the building of numeracy skills
  6. Play games – many games require the use of mathematics or probability. Playing games can assist students to see how mathematics is a part of the game design and how an understanding of mathematics can assist with winning the game
  7. Study statistics – Discuss statistics and the decisions that are made on the basis of the statistics used (especially with the census coming up – discuss what this information is used for and why it is collected)

https://education.abc.net.au/newsandarticles/blog/-/b/2371424/numeracy-tips-for-parents-and-caregivers

As always, if there are ever any concerns regarding your daughter's progress in Mathematics, please get in touch with her Mathematics teacher and make them aware.

Lorraine Dredge
Mathematics Leader of Learning 

Online Learning '21

The innovation continues with our Online Learning '21 program!

Last Friday our Year 10 Information Software Technology class was given a virtual tour of Western Sydney University by Sara Baker from the School Engagement team and experienced a Q&A with Associate Professor Volker Gebhardt who is the Director of Academic Programs for the School of Mathematics and Statistics. What a great opportunity to jump into STEM thinking and careers during our Online Learning ‘21 program!

Year 11 Extension 1 Mathematics has been expanding their minds through online learning and 'thinking laterally.' This image below is the group's response after they received their feedback on the investigation task, which asked them to consider the properties of Pascal's triangle and design a code based on one of its properties.

Year 9 Drama are currently studying Political Theatre and have been experimenting with the techniques of Bertolt Brecht. Last week, they created their own songs using his techniques. The topics the class decided to use included animal cruelty, the state of the Earth, equal rights, and cybersafety.

On July 25 in HSC Society and Culture we hosted a Q&A with Sophie Renton, Research Director for McCrindle. We explored the most effective social research methods, learned about the challenges and opportunities of doing social research and gained interesting insights from her recent projects. This conversation related to the topic of Change and Continuity, which deepens our knowledge of social theories and methods, and reflects the many approaches that our students used in their Personal Interest Projects (PIPs).

Yr 11 Biology students are learning about the respiratory system in amphibians. In a lesson last week, the class was shown a video which was followed by an explanation about why the buccal cavity is constantly moving. One of the students, Kyrah was then able to demonstrate this learning by showing her frog on the screen!

Year 7 French classes have been learning to describe pets in French. They were asked to present their pets in person, or introduce a ‘furry pet toy’ in French! In Year 9 French, students have been working on developing their vocabulary by learning names of clothing items, as part of the topic "Shopping for clothing." To reinforce students' learning, girls participated in a memory game using an interactive whiteboard.

Careers

This week’s careers news includes important closing dates for Year 12 students interested in going to university next year, university scholarship information, updates from UAC, summer school opportunities for Year 11 students who have an interest in engineering and a new segment that will focus on the resources available on the OLMC Careers website. This website has many features and an enormous amount of information to help students manage their later years of school and post-school options.

This week’s feature is the Career Personality Quiz. This quiz can be accessed through the Student Secure Area. The quiz provides 32 pairs of personality descriptions and students use a sliding scale to input their responses. Once they have completed the quiz they will get their personality type (one of sixteen different options). The students are also able to download a report that shows the common traits of their career personality along with strengths and weaknesses, as well as some famous people with similar traits. Most importantly, it also lists possible jobs or careers that are most suited to that personality with further links to more information about those jobs. This is a fabulous resource for students to start to explore their career opportunities.

Donna Jones
Careers Coordinator

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From the College Counsellor

Meet your OLMC Counsellors:

The College is committed to the welfare and wellbeing of all students and employs qualified registered psychologists to assist in assessing and addressing any wellbeing concerns. Students can access College counselling via one of the following ways:

1.      Self-referral- students can email a College Counsellor directly or attend Student Services and arrange an appointment time.

2.      Teacher/House Leader referral- if your teacher or House Leader has concerns about your wellbeing, they may encourage you to utilise the counselling services.

3.      Parent referral- your parents can refer you to the counselling services by phoning the school counsellor on 8838 1273.

4.      New students- As part of your induction at OLMC, your House Leader will help to arrange a time for you to meet the College Counsellors.

The College currently has three College Counsellors:

 

 

Sandra Portela

I am an endorsed Forensic Psychologist; this means that my Masters study focused on psychology and the law. I have been practising for 14 years. I commenced employment at the College in 2019, as the Senior Counsellor. Prior to this my previous employment has seen me work with families in various permutations. I have worked for a child protection counselling service providing counselling to children, adolescents, parents, foster carers and kinship carers. I have worked at the Family Law Court with children and families to help provide advice to the Court about what care arrangements are likely to be in the children’s best interests when parents have separated. Finally, prior to commencing at the College, I worked in a Public School and State High School as a school counsellor. My passion is working with young people, supporting their wellbeing by helping to foster their strengths and enhance their resilience. My therapeutic preference is to use a strengths-based approach, utilising Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, in conjunction with teaching skills such as mindfulness and relaxation. I am available five days per week.

 

Fiona Tung

I have been a registered psychologist for over 15 years. I am also endorsed as a Clinical Psychologist who is specialised in mental health. Throughout my career, I have had wonderful opportunities to work across different health and private mental health settings, supporting children, adolescents, young people, and their families. I commenced employment at OLMC in 2021. Prior to this, I have worked in both government and independent education settings, particularly for girls. My therapeutic approaches are based on various evidence-based strategies such as Cognitive Behavioural therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Dialectic Behavioural therapy, mindfulness and self-compassion principles. I believe each adolescent has their own unique potential and can thrive when they are supported to build up their resilience and inner strengths. I am committed and compassionate about providing a safe, respectful, non-judgement and empathic environment in therapy and work collaboratively to guide my clients to find a path forward and overcome their struggles and challenges. I work part-time at OLMC on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rose Sedra

I am a psychologist and accredited Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor. I have been practising for 12 years and training Youth Mental Health First Aid for over three years. Prior to my role at OLMC, my previous roles have involved working mainly with young people from different backgrounds in various settings. I have worked at two schools which were ‘second chance’ schools working predominantly with students who have been excluded from mainstream schooling due to behaviour, life circumstances, or significant mental illnesses. I more recently worked at NGO’s supporting children, adolescents, carers and schools around understanding the language of young people’s behaviour and formulating ways to meet the needs of these young people while reducing their likelihood to demonstrate maladaptive behaviours.

I am passionate about helping to reduce the stigma around mental illness, and supporting young people in a holistic way. I believe in working with young people, their families, school supports and other natural supports as part of the recovery process.  I also recognise the importance of working within the community to break down the stigma and myths about mental illness, mental health and seeking help. In a therapeutic setting, I prefer to use a client centered, strengths-based approach, predominantly using Solution Focused Therapy, plenty of Psychoeducation and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I am available five days a week to support students and their families.

If you wish to contact a College Counsellor during this period of Online Learning please email counsellors@olmc.nsw.edu.au.

Online Learning '21: Homeroom Fun

Callaghan 4 Homeroom played a jigsaw puzzle competition for Fun Friday. Everyone could participate and the time and scores were recorded. The theme of the jigsaw puzzle was the Olympic rings.

Stanley 6 had a Bring your pet to Homeroom day as part of Fun Friday last week, while Callaghan 5 got into their House spirit by wearing their House Colour.

 

Wellbeing and Exercise

Our PDHPE staff have put together a lockdown workout for our girls to encourage all to keep well through regular exercise. 

Webinar

Answers with Dr Justin Coulson: Anxiety in your Child - Wednesday 8 September 2021 - Webinar

Anxiety has become one of the leading causes of ill-health in our children. And it’s also affecting more parents than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated what was already an accelerating problem. Can we stop anxiety? Where is it coming from? Are our kids bubble-wrapped snowflakes that just need to “toughen up” and get over it? Or is there an approach to our children’s anxiety that can build them, encourage them, and give them hope?

Dr Justin Coulson, one of Australia's leading parenting experts, has put together Answers with Dr Justin Coulson: Anxiety in your Child to provide the answers every parent needs to help their children – and even to help themselves.  OLMC is pleased to provide an opportunity to participate in a webinar. 

If you would like to participate please register using this link – there is no cost to the OLMC community. The registrants will receive the viewing link and will be subscribed for email reminders for the event.

Staying Safe Online

It can be very difficult for parents to stay up-to-date and maintain an awareness of how to keep children safe online. In an effort to provide you with some assistance in this area I have gathered information from two sources both of which provide practical advice and support.

The eSafety Commissioner website has a vast array of resources for parents including fact sheets.

CLICK HERE to access the following:

  • Online safety book
  • Parental controls on devices and accounts
  • Parental controls in social media, games and apps
  • 5 tips to keep your family safe online
  • App checklist for parents

If you are looking to learn about the latest apps and social media including how to protect information and report inappropriate content then see the esafety guide: https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide

Susan McClean

Susan is passionate about keeping young people safe online and providing education programs to schools and other key youth stakeholders. For the last few years she has spoken to the Year 7 students and parents. Her aim is to empower people to use technology with respect and responsibility. She has a number of resources for parents that also assist in keeping your children safe. She also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

On behalf of the Pastoral Team I hope you and your family are safe and well. If you have any concerns please reach out to your daughter's House Mentor, House Leader, a College Counsellor or me and we will do what we can to support your daughter.

Take care

Ann-Marie Herd
Director of Pastoral Care (Acting)


Sport

Sport Cancellations

Unfortunately, a number of sporting events have had to be cancelled during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.

The following sporting events have been cancelled so far:

  • PDSSSC Netball
  • CGSSSA AFL
  • PDSSSC Oz Tag
  • NSWCCC Netball

The following sporting events have been postponed:

  • NSW All Schools Cross Country (now October 18)
  • NSW All Schools Individual Triathlon (now October 25)
  • PDSSSC and CGSSSA Dance (may move to online video submissions)

Cheerleading training has also been halted for the meantime.

Staying fit and healthy

On the MyOLMC Sport Canvas page, I have a document with numerous links to online sport-specific training resources you can access: https://myolmc.instructure.com/courses/39/pages/olmc-sport

If you would like to keep training for your chosen sports while in isolation, these resources can help you by providing a number of drills you can try at home with minimal equipment, space or people.

Saturday Netball

Unfortunately, the remainder of Saturday Netball season has been cancelled

The final results can be viewed here – http://erna.nsw.netball.com.au/common/pages/public/rv/draw.aspx

Wednesday Touch Football

Information regarding the Touch Football season is still unclear but OLMC will not be providing teams this season due to the nature of the COVID pandemic.

If the Touch Football season goes ahead, students can still organise and register their own teams if they wish.

Don’t forget OLMC Sport is now on Twitter, so join in the conversation @OLMCsport

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


Due to the current COVID lockdown the P&F was not able to gather at the College for its Term 3 General Meeting, instead we met up virtually via Zoom on the evening of Tuesday 24 July.

It was an information-packed meeting and, in addition to Lucie Farrugia and Susan Giacomelli, the P&F would like to thank Matthew Esterman and Christine Pace who gave up their evening to provide us with two outstanding presentations covering the proposed alterations to the Brigid Shelly Building and the enhancements to the Online Parent Portal.

Ms Farrugia provided information on a number of topics of interest to parents including the names of staff members who have recently joined OLMC, an update on the Online ‘21 program and the impact of the ongoing lockdown on upcoming College events.

Ms Farrugia also notified parents of the results of the College’s periodic NESA audit. The College received some wonderful feedback during the audit process and has been re-registered for the next five years.

The members of the P&F present at the meeting voted unanimously to donate the sum of $67,000 from P&F funds to purchase furniture, umbrellas and perimeter seating to complement the landscaping works planned for the College forecourt. Concept drawings of the area shown at the meeting was very impressive.

The P&F also conveyed their thanks to all the teachers and support staff at OLMC for the dedication they are showing to helping our daughters through this challenging time.

OLMC P&F Committee


Class of 1971


Uniform Shop

Whilst the Uniform Shop is currently closed to students and public, online purchases can still be made.  These orders will be processed and delivered to the student centre upon the students return.

Purchases: Online purchases can be made via the Online Uniform Shop (https://shop.olmc.nsw.edu.au/).

Winter Uniform: Students are to wear their Winter Uniform during Term 2 and Term 3. For the senior winter uniform, the long sleeve shirt is optional.

Scarves: There are scarves available for purchase either online or at the Shop.

Tights: The Uniform Shop has tights available for purchase with the winter uniform. If you are purchasing these elsewhere, the requirement is 70 denier opaque, colour - Ink Navy.

If you have any concerns regarding uniform items, please do not hesitate to contact the Uniform Shop on 8838 1275 or uniformshop@olmc.nsw.edu.au.

 


Position Vacant - Mercy Works