Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,
Welcome back to Term 2. I hope everyone had a Holy Easter and was able to spend some valuable time re-energising and preparing for the term ahead. This term certainly has challenges for students as we move to the second half of first semester. Students in Years 9 – 11 will undertake Half Yearly Examinations in the coming weeks and should take every opportunity to fully prepare for these examinations, with a study plan and study regime, to ensure they are familiar with all that needs to be studied.
All students need to be fully aware that all assessment adds to their overall result and enhances their learning. With this in mind it is essential that application to all learning experiences whether, homework, class work assessment tasks or examinations is approached with the same dedication and commitment throughout the semester. This will allow students to improve their learning and gain a result that is reflective of their true potential.
I remind parents that the school will conduct two staff development days this term. The days will be conducted by experts in their field and have been subject to the availability of these persons. The first will be conducted on Friday 1 May and will be facilitated by Bronwyn MacLeod (Director of Gateways Education) from UNSW, who has done much work in the area of Gifted Education. Brownyn will be leading the staff in a day focused on Curriculum Differentiation. Participation in the day will expose staff to strategies to allow greater differentiation and enhance student learning growth.
The second staff development day will be conducted on Friday 29 May and will be facilitated by Jesuit priest, Fr Richard Leonard. Fr Richard will be working with staff on “How Catholic Education can form believers in a media saturated culture” This will allow a greater understanding of the students’ world and help us to promote their faith development.
I apologise for any inconvenience created by these dates, however, as stated the dates were dependant on the availability of presenters.
Congratulation to Miss Lauren Miller and Russell Agland who were married over the holidays. We wish them all the best for their future lives together.
Today the community came together to commemorate ANZAC Day. The ceremony was a most significant one as we reflect on 100 years since the display of such bravery and valour at Gallipoli. Mrs Phillips organised a service in which students from all year groups participated. The ceremony was both moving and memorable. We were very fortunate to have guest speaker Mr Peter Phillips who spoke to us about his experiences as a soldier in Afghanistan. The ceremony concluded with the planting of our own ‘Lone Pine’ the seedling propagated from the original ‘Lone Pine’ at Gallipoli. The significance of the ‘Lone Pine’ was explained beautifully by Caitlin Fitzgerald. (This explanation is included in this newsletter).
The ceremony was conducted at the foot of the school’s new Anzac Memorial garden. This garden was constructed by Mr Joe Trimarchi, Jo Gibbs (Bunnings Coordinator), Mr Peter Sherlock (Bunnings) and Year 12 students. The construction was made possible via a donation from Bunnings and a contribution from Year 12, 2015 as part of the Year 12 gift to the school and school funds. I thank all involved in the creation of the structure, which will be an ongoing reminder of the sacrifices of brave men and women who ensured the freedom of our country and their willingness to pursue peace.
Tomorrow is ANZAC Day. This year the day commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli. It is also a day when all Australians have the opportunity to recognise the enormous sacrifices made by so many but in this instance more so, Australians and New Zealanders. Due to these sacrifices we are free and safe in a country where citizens have privileges, which are protected. We also have boundless opportunities and democratic rights and a very real sense of hope in the future. In many ways our good fortune is a result of the sacrifices of those who fought for and in numerous instances died for this country. As a nation let us not forget that we are forever indebted to these selfless people.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget
Mr John Lo Cascio