Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,
Last week we celebrated the Opening School Mass and High Achievers Ceremony. The Mass, officiated by Fr Michael, was a fitting way to begin the year, to come together as a community and to acknowledge God’s presence in out midst. Mass was followed by the High Achievers Ceremony. The students present at the High Achievers Ceremony, each achieved a Band 6 result in the HSC and/or an ATAR over 90. They are certainly a fine example of dedication to the students and the wider Magdalene community.
During the High Achievers Ceremony the 2015 Dux, Luke Papandrea, expressed some reflections on his journey to the Higher School Certificate. I thank Luke for sharing his thouughts with us and encourage students to take note of his advice:
“After six years at Magdalene, I’ve found that going to school, is pretty much the same as going to the gym, and it's not just because you start off small and end up a lot bigger. Both the gym and school offer tough challenges and it's sometimes hard to stay focused and push yourself further. When working out, some people are motivated by the perfect beach body and that gets them through the session, but at school it can be sometimes more difficult to see a clear goal. Now I know it’s a huge cliché to set goals, but I found that it was really helpful. To give you a quick idea of how my goal setting worked, I started off very broad, as:
I would like to drive an Audi R8 when I’m older.
And I thought to myself, this means I’m going to need a good job and work hard.
But if I’m going to be working long hours I should do something I enjoy.
Well I’m a bit of a computer nerd, so software engineering sounds great,
Which means at school I should choose subjects that relate
And of course, I need to do well in each of my subjects to get the marks and drive that beautiful car.
This won’t work for everyone, as we all have different interests and ideas about the future. But having a simple plan of where you want to end up, makes the road getting there a lot easier. Going back to the gym analogy, the question, “how much do you lift?” is like asking, “hey, what mark did you get?” and much like going to the gym, the time spent training or studying, will determine what you achieve. You can’t expect to instantly bench 90kg without training, nor should you expect to get 90% without studying.
Another thing that I found very helpful was trying not to stress, get angry or frustrated. When these emotions took over, information wouldn't sink in and it made me just not want to study. Trying to stick it out just made things worse, so I would just take a small break, by having a kit-kat, or a coffee, or watching an episode of friends. The 20 minutes you spend “destressifying”, means you can study for longer and with it being more beneficial.
When working out, there are those people who can help you reach your potential. At school, your teachers are your personal trainers, and if you listen to their advice, you will definitely be much better off. Friends are those who spot you, lending a hand when things get tough. And family are your cheer squad, that helps you do more than you thought was possible. I certainly would not have achieved as much without these people in my life.
Finally I would like to end with a quote from a wise man of our generation: “Don’t let your dreams be dreams, yesterday you said tomorrow, so just do it”.”
Well done Luke!
Last Tuesday the first meeting of the Parents and Friends Association and the Parent Consultation Committee was conducted. The Parents and Friends have been most supportive of the school and have endorsed the purchase of a school bus. This is in addition to the construction of a shade cloth structure, which is in the process of obtaining engineers specifications.
Following the Parents and Friends Association Meeting, the Parent Consultation Committee viewed the Annual School Improvement Plan. The 2016 directions were explained and input was invited for future directions. A copy of the priorities is included in this newsletter.
This week we began the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday ceremonies. As Catholics we are reminded that Lent is a time to reflect, repent, pray and reach out to others, traditionally expressed as “Prayer Penance and Alms giving”. Lent thus is an opportunity to bear witness to our Christian faith and carry on the work of Christ during and beyond the Lenten season. One way of being truly committed to the practical aspect of “Alms giving” is to contribute to Caritas. The Caritas Lenten theme in 2016 is “Learning More Creating Change.” We can make a difference to others across our world. This Lent let us all learn more about the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves. In doing so, let us commit to bringing about change.
PROJECT COMPASSION PRAYER
God of all people,
we offer you our Lenten journey.
May we learn to walk as one human family,
remembering in a special way the men, women and children around
the world who are most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice.
Bless our prayers, our fasting and our Lenten gifts to Project Compassion,
in this its 50th year.
Through these actions, we show our love for your Son, Jesus, and answer your call to love one another.
Mr John Lo Cascio