Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Welcome back for Term 2, 2021. I do hope you had a wonderful time with your daughters through the break and enjoyed time with extended family throughout Easter.

HSC Study Week 

I wish to thank all staff and students who were on campus for various activities during the break. Our Year 12 girls had the chance to come into the College to study, participate in revision lessons and complete holiday homework. So many Mercy Girls took up this great opportunity and our dedicated teaching staff made these sessions possible.

Key Dates for Term 2

I invite you to note the following key dates for Term 2. More information about each of these events will be provided closer to the event dates:

  • Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award Assembly: Tuesday 4 May. We are looking forward to announcing the Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award winner for 2020 at this Assembly. The Catherine McAuley OLMC Parramatta Alumnae Award is awarded each year to an outstanding ex-student. Introduced in 2009, the award is a way of acknowledging and celebrating the great achievements of the OLMC Alumnae community.
  • Mother Daughter Mass: Monday 10 May
  • College Athletics Carnival: Friday 21 May
  • Women in Leadership Forum and Alumnae Connect Evening (for Classes of 2019 and 2020) Wednesday 26 May. This annual Forum is an opportunity to be inspired by renowned women from a variety of fields, as they share their perspectives on women in leadership and discuss how each of us can be courageous advocates with limitless possibilities. More information will be available in the coming months in our newsletters and on social media.

Holiday Workshop

On 8 April, Young Change Agents facilitated the Academy of Enterprising Girls Workshop. Forty students from all Year Groups developed the mindsets, skillsets and toolsets to generate and develop ideas that support social justice. Some were whole new companies, some were apps and services, but all addressed a problem or need identified by our students. Students identified homelessness, gender equality and other issues as key priorities. Our students will be able to develop their ideas and pitch them to various audiences in the coming months to gain real support in getting their ideas off the ground! Many thanks to the teachers who came along to support our girls.

Travel Survey Findings – How we get to school

During March a Travel Survey for both St. Patrick’s Primary and Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta was conducted. The two schools have come together to work to improve transport for students, parents and staff. We had 614 people participate  -  nearly 40% of students and staff across the two schools, which is a great participation rate!

Over the next few weeks, both schools will be working with Parramatta Council and Transport for NSW to resolve some of the issues you reported.

If you have specific bus issues, please use this form on the TfNSW website

The below graph shows how students get to OLMC:

Many respondents said that better bus services would help a lot, with 15 people writing about buses in the comments section. Across the two schools we heard that key ways to help people use buses were:

  • More frequent public transport (263, 43%)
  • Bus route to my neighbourhood (226, 37%)
  • Improved waiting area at school (shade/weather protection) (167, 27%)

We are going to be talking to Council and Transport for NSW about options for helping us improve bus services.

We heard about issues with traffic around the school, with 53 people commenting on traffic, parking and the process for picking up/dropping off students. Carpooling is a way that we can make more effective use of the road and kerb space at the school while reducing the overall time parents spend in traffic. You told us about the factors in decision making around carpooling: 

  • Know the driver personally (189, 31%)
  • Free parking (185, 30%)
  • Help finding someone to carpool with (152, 25%)

Walking and cycling are potential options for students who live closer to school. We heard that these items are key for helping students be able to walk and cycle more:

  • Back up options in case of inclement weather (152, 25%)
  • More weather protection (e.g. covered walkways) (128, 21%)
  • Information on safe routes (119, 19%)

We will be considering possible options which may help parents connect to set up carpools and ways to make it easier to walk and cycle to school. We are currently working on putting together a Transportation Access Guide for the school which will provide parents and students with better information on their transport options for getting to school.

 

Photography/Video Permissions

Thank you to all families who have completed this important form which was sent via email in the holidays. If you have yet done so, please CLICK HERE to complete the form.

 

Please do not hesitate to be in contact with us about any concerns or questions you may have as we enter another vibrant and dynamic term of teaching and learning at OLMC. 

Lucie Farrugia
Principal

 

 

 


Mother Daughter Mass

The annual Mother Daughter Mass will take place on Monday 10 May at 4.30pm in the Edith Angel Hall. Please see the invitation below.

Please RSVP for this event by May 3 as we need to monitor numbers for attendance and catering purposes. 

We look forward to sharing this lovely celebration of Motherhood with all in our College Community.

Please CLICK HERE to RSVP.

 

Mother Daughter Mass – Helpers Needed

This is a call-out to our Mercy fathers! It is a tradition that the P&F and the Dads in our community serve afternoon tea to the many mums, grandmothers, and special women in our girls’ lives who attend this special event.

If you are available between 4.30pm - 6.00pm on Monday 10 May, your assistance would be appreciated. Please CLICK HERE to indicate your interest.

Many thanks,

OLMC Parramatta P&F Committee

Project Compassion

Our Project Compassion Appeal ended at the end of Term 1 and was a very successful campaign that raised almost $10,000. This is the most money raised in this Appeal.

I would like to thank Mrs Johnston, the Social Justice Coordinator, Charlotte Duff and Annaleise Manoogian, the Mercy Action Leaders, all Mercy Action Reps and staff and students who donated so generously!


Music

The Music Centre has been a flurry of activity and energy from the very start of the school year. There has been many opportunities for our students to be involved in musical events. These have included Opening Mass, Lenten Liturgy, Meet the Principal, Assemblies, Open Day, and students have also participated in the numerous music ensembles at OLMC.

At any given time of the day, you could walk past the Music Centre and hear year 7 strumming their ukuleles along to Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License, Year 8 playing keyboard, drums or singing in their group performances of The Temptations hit My Girl, or Year 9 and 10 playing musical chairs – not in the traditional form we remember as children, but in a circle with drumsticks - playing the chairs as percussion instruments. Dancing Salsa would also be visible for any spectators walking past the Music Centre to teach Stage 5 students about syncopation. These activities, although extremely fun, are designed to teach the students the fundamentals of music theory.

Year 11 and 12 students have started the year with more focus on the Concepts of Music. These concepts are at the core of their Preliminary and HSC Studies and are studied through the unit of work they focus on for the term. Year 11 looked specifically at Jazz Music and Year 12 continued with their core topic of Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Music students have learnt skills that will assist them in not just Music studies, but whatever avenue they aspire to pursue. Skills such as self-esteem, confidence, teamwork, the ability to communicate with each other as well as an audience, and empathy are part of their class activities as well as formal assessment tasks. Music also develops creative self-expression which is an innate desire and reason why our subject is an important part of a well-rounded education. 

Belinda Angilletta
Leader of Learning - Music

 


From the College Counsellor

Boosting Attention and Concentration

It is completely normal to have periods of time where we find it difficult to concentrate or properly pay attention, particularly during times of tiredness, emotional distress, or stress. There are a number of things that we can do to boost our attention and concentration, particularly if we are attempting to study or complete an assessment task, including the following:

1. Stop trying to multi-task and just focus on one thing at a time. When you multi-task you have to divide your attention between tasks, meaning you are less focussed and then less productive.

2. Plan activities that require less focus during times when you know your attention is at its lowest. For instance, if you know you start to feel tired at 9pm, it is not the time to pull out a text that you have not read before and will require all of your focus and concentration. Instead, use this time to read a novel or write out a to-do list for the following day.

3. Practice mindfulness. When you feel your mind start to wander, bring your thoughts back to the present by focussing on the things around you. Focus on your five senses, what things can you see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Also try and focus on your breathing, taking big deep breaths.

4. Minimise distractions. Find a quiet space to work or invest in some noise-cancelling headphones. Turn off notifications on your devices or set up website blockers so that you won’t be tempted by the internet during times when you need to concentrate on another task.

5. Work in blocks of time that are suited to your concentration span. Giving yourself a small chunk of time with a rest break afterwards can help with your focus as attention does wane after a certain period. Start with 30 minutes of work, followed by a 10-minute break and slowly increase the block of time spent working.

6. Get organised. Have a specific plan for what you want to achieve. Simply saying studying science is not specific enough. Instead, make it more detailed such as “read pages 25-32 of my text and make summary notes”. Make sure you have all the resources required prior to sitting down to focus on a task.

7. Make sure to eat regular meals, as sudden spikes or dips in your blood sugar can impact your attention. Whilst a small amount of caffeine can provide short-term mental boost, too much can cause you to feel anxious and over-stimulated.

8. Make sure that you are getting a good night's sleep, aiming for 8 hours a night.

If you find that your concentration and attention do not improve after consistently trying the above strategies, please see your regular GP for further assessment or come and speak to a College Counsellor.

Sandra Portela
Senior College Counsellor

STUDY SKILLS TIP FOR APRIL – LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT TERM

Are you riding a rollercoaster at school? Rollercoaster study is where you stay up late doing last-minute assignments, then you take it easy for a while and do very little, then panic again when something is due and have to spend huge amounts of time, in the end, completing the work.  If you plan ahead and are prepared, you will find school much less stressful and more rewarding.

Here are the top tips for thinking ahead:

  1. STUDY NOTES: If you know that you have a test at the end of each topic or examinations approaching, then on the nights you do not have much homework start working on your study notes and summaries. File them in folders at home so they are ready to go when you need them.
  2. ASSIGNMENTS: Always start the assignment the day it is given to you, even if it is just a little bit. Make sure you understand the requirements and if you don’t ask your teacher straight away the next day. Brainstorm the steps the first night and do a rough plan of when you will do each step.
  3. ASK FOR HELP EARLY: There is nothing more frustrating than a student who says ‘I haven’t understood anything we did in the last 3 weeks’. Ask for help as soon as you have a problem. Keep a list of questions for your teacher on a post-it in your textbook or sticky notes on your computer or a list in your phone. Don’t let problems or issues build up, ask for help early and often.
  4. THINK ABOUT WHO YOU SIT NEXT TO: Choose wisely who you will sit with in class. This can make a world of difference to your results. If you sit with someone where it is a productive relationship, you encourage and help each other and stay on task in the classroom you will understand your work better and have less to do at home.
  5. CONSIDER YOUR WEEK: Plan ahead for busy times. If you know you have nights where you can’t do much work or a busy weekend, plan ahead and get things done early. Always look ahead for possible times where you could be caught short of time and make plans to avoid problems.

Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on www.studyskillshandbook.com.au 

Username:OLMC
Password:64results 


P&F Meeting - 4 May 2021

All parents and carers are welcome to the next P&F Meeting at 7.00pm on Tuesday 4 May 2021 in the Staff Common Room (access via Gate 2, Ross Street from 6.50pm).

We will be welcoming Ms Ann-Marie Herd, Director of Pastoral Care as the Staff Guest Speaker at this meeting.


Debating

While many students were relaxing over the holidays, several of our students, with the support of their team coaches, started preparation for the CSDA Debating season which begins on Friday 30 April. The workshops were held on the Friday after Easter, with a full contingent of our two Year 7 teams and both Year 10 teams eager to hone their skills for their first debate.

The 7A team consisted of Vishnu Gude, Isabel Homairi, Celeste Ieronimo and Sofia Tong and were very ably coached by ex-student Priyanka Sangar. The 7B team (not a “second” team as both teams are equally talented) comprised A’ishah Ali, Lizzy Butler, Pia Goradia and Bianca Mina whose coach was last year’s Debating and Public Speaking leader, Lily Tambrchi. Both coaches are highly experienced debaters and their input showed as both teams prepared and presented their arguments in a practice debate. Well done to all; these teams are certain to be highly competitive in the actual competition.

Ms James is coaching both Year 10 teams this year and her teams also held a training session. Not all members of those teams were able to attend, so the two Year 7 reserves filled in for the practice. The debate showed that calling Shiloh Julien and Celina Wassef “Year 7 reserves” is a misleading term as they matched it with their older team members. Well done to Arlene Kumar, Freya Scothern and Celina in their clash with Sophie Assaad, Ruwindri Parndigamage and Shiloh. In fact, Sophie and Ruwindri, together with Niamh Nolan and Hayden Rodewald, are still in Year 9 but are competing as the 10B team at the higher level because of their proven debating skills. The other regular members of the 10A team are Olivia Easton and Tijana Pavlovic.

Special thanks to Priyanka, Lily and Ms James for organizing these training sessions. The enthusiasm of all the teams is to be commended.

Last week, four Year 11 girls also attended a workshop in preparation for their first foray into the world of Senior debating. Although none have debated previously, their willingness to learn and improve was obvious. Tvesa Agrawal, Mikayla Simpson, Tarni Sutton and Cassidy Turrell will be worthy representatives of the College and their courage in accepting the challenge of facing more experienced teams is a reflection of what is best in the students at OLMC. They are wonderful role models for younger students.

It does not stop there. Over the next week, ex-student Jessica D’Souza will also be training her Year 8 team after school. Her team includes Year 8 students Alexandra Attard, Gabrielle Fleming, Stefanie Gabriel and Jasmine O’Brien.  

Debating could not proceed without the support of so many coaches. Apart from the ones mentioned above, thank you also to teachers Mr Altura, Mr Hamey, Ms Knox and Ms Rowan for taking teams. All 12 teams are looking forward to the beginning of the competition. Good luck to all of them.

 

Christopher Ostrowski

Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator      

Sport

Sporting Achievements 

If your daughter/s ever achieves any exceptional sporting results outside of school, please let me know so that we, as a community, can congratulate her. 

Australian Athletics Championships

The Australian Athletics Championships were held last week at SOPAC. Congratulations to Lucie Francis who finished 7th in the U16 2km Steeplechase and to Summer Giddings who finished 2nd in the OPEN Ambulant Long Jump.

Saturday Netball

Games start this Saturday April 24. We will be playing at Eastwood Ryde Netball Association - Meadowbank Park, Adelaide St, Meadowbank.

Game times and grades have been emailed to all players and the draw can be viewed HERE 

Parking can be very difficult so please arrive 30 minutes before your game.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Saturday Soccer

Games start this Saturday April 24. Game times have been emailed to all students. We play most games at Fairfield Rd Park, Yenoona.

There are still a few spaces for any Year 7 students who wish to play.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

OLMC Sport is now on Twitter - join in the conversation @OLMCsport

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh visited Australia in 1954 and travelled through Parramatta, en route from Bathurst to Sydney.


School Fees

School fees for Instalment 2 have now been sent to all families and are due by Friday 23 April 2021.

Payment may be made by Bpay, cheque, money order or by credit card via the Parent Community Portal (Visa or Mastercard).

Any queries regarding fees or payments can be directed to the Finance Office on 8838 1214 weekdays during 8.00am – 4.00pm or by email to finance@olmc.nsw.edu.au.

Anne-Maree Ironside
Finance Manager

Save the Date - Women in Leadership Forum

Mother Daughter Mass