Dear OLMC Families,
As we return for the fourth Term of 2020, it has been rewarding to witness the engagement in and enthusiasm for learning exhibited by all students and staff at the College. It was refreshing to have the two weeks’ break however, it is always exciting to return onsite to our community and to learn together!
The Higher School Certificate Examinations have commenced this week so I would like to focus a little on our Year 12 students as I write to you today. The examinations constitute the culmination of 13 years of learning and six years of secondary education! For families, it is a significant investment in so many ways, in who their daughter is becoming - in her faith and in her emotional, social and intellectual growth. I thank all families for the trust that has been placed in us to partner with you in this growth. Our Year 12 students approached the first English paper yesterday, Tuesday, with the expected nervous energy that comes with the first exam but they overcame their nerves very confidently and were generally pleased with the paper and their capacity to complete it. Our English Faculty felt it was certainly a fair paper and accessible to our students so Year 12 have made a good start and we can all be extremely proud of them!
Year 12 concluded their formal lessons at the end of Term 3. I met with the final two Houses for the Principal’s Morning Tea – Mercedes and Stanley – in a socially distanced manner outside in the Convent garden. On Friday 25 September I spoke with the Year 12 cohort, wished them well and presented them with a candle from the College which featured the phrase: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” This has been an ongoing theme at the College throughout the year and one which I introduced at one of few formal assemblies in Term 1! It has formed a strong framework, along with our faith, for shaping our resilience throughout the year of the pandemic. The ensuing Year 12 Study Week provided support and confidence for the many Year 12 students who attended. I would like to thank the many College staff who professionally worked with the students in this non-term time period to offer direction and constructive feedback during this week.
In 2020 NESA has required all schools to provide a separate site and separate set of invigilators for the 2020 HSC in the event of closure of the main campus. I have secured facilities at the Novotel for the HSC period and staff have been trained as invigilators should they be required to step in so please know that a plan is in place for the safe completion of all HSC examinations.
I know that we all wish our Year 12 cohort the very best for their HSC examinations and we offer them our prayers for clarity of thought and confidence as they complete each paper set before them.
The Year 12 Graduation Assembly will take place at the College on Friday 13 November commencing at 10.30am. Year 12 students will be seated in the AMCC and parents and families will be able to conveniently view the Assembly via live streaming offsite or onsite from the Edith Angel Hall. One ticketed seat will be available to each family and can be accessed via this link.
I thank you for your support and understanding as we adhere to the guidelines and restrictions imposed by NSW Health and as we prioritise the health and safety of our community.
The Year 11 Senior Retreat occurred last week 15-16 October and focussed on the theme of “speak as your mind directs.” It is important that the spiritual and faith development of the individual is prioritised always. As a Catholic faith community in the Mercy charism we hold in high estimation a sense of purpose that is values driven and one which directs our actions with integrity and dignity. Taking this time to really focus on our values contributes to our wholeness as individual and binds us in our shared sense of community. Congratulations to Year 11 for the mature manner in which they embraced this Retreat and a sincere thank you to the teachers who shared and facilitated this day. Thank you too, to Mrs Gabby Scanlon, Director of Mission, for her tremendous leadership of this Senior Retreat both in its inception and its activation. Much gratitude must also be extended to Mrs Ellen Lonergan for her wonderful preparation and leadership of the Senior Retreat. In a fine example of our communal agility, the Retreat itself was held on site this year as Covid-19 restrictions pre-empted the planned overnight, offsite Retreat!
For your information and reassurance I want to let you know that during Term 4 the College continues in Continuous Learning Mode and continues to adhere to all enhanced safety and wellbeing precautions as implemented including:
· Horizontal Homerooms
· Minimisation of “across Stage” contact (House Assemblies, MASSH, recess and lunch playgrounds)
· All students and staff encouraged to wear face masks
· A Registered nurse remains onsite for Term 4
Other noteworthy information for our community includes the following:
- Year 7, 2021 Virtual Orientation Events are happening this Term – we are looking forward to welcoming our new Mercy Girls
- The Mercy Tree Appeal 2020 has been launched
- Mercy Scholarship applications for Year 7, 2022 are now open
You can find further information about these events later in the newsletter or via the College website.
All the very best to our community as we continue to learn together! Stay safe and well.