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Macarthur Anglican School Bulletin
No. 15, Week 2 - Spring Term 2019
From the Acting Headmaster

Fittingly, Spring at Macarthur marks new beginnings. Not only are our gardens in full bloom, but it is the beginning of a new academic year for our students. For our HSC students, Spring marks the start of their final examination period. For me personally, it is the beginning of my role as Acting Headmaster while Dr Nockles enjoys some well-deserved long service leave. I am quickly discovering that Dr Nockles does not just sit in his big chair sipping tea and thinking great thoughts … who would have guessed? 😀 

But this Spring is also marking a significant end. It is with great personal sadness that I announce the resignation of Mrs Melissa Gould-Drakeley from the Macarthur staff after twenty years of faithful and tireless service to our school community. As you will recall, the Headmaster announced late last year that Mrs Gould-Drakeley was taking twelve months leave to take up a position at the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) as Inspector of Languages. After much agony of soul she has decided to continue in that role on a permanent basis. Our loss is certainly NESA’s gain!

Mrs Gould-Drakeley served the School - first as a teacher of ESL and Indonesian, then as the Head of Languages, Head of Senior School and finally in her role as Dean of Studies. Her contribution to the School has been incalculable. 

When Mrs Gould-Drakeley arrived at Macarthur in 1999, Indonesian struggled to draw students or achieve commendable results. Since 2008, however, we have not failed to have at least one student placed in the top five students in the state … and many firsts! Mrs Gould-Drakeley would not claim to have achieved this alone, but her contribution to these fabulous outcomes cannot be overstated.

Despite taking on senior roles in the School Mrs Gould-Drakeley never lost her passion for teaching languages. She was, for many years, President of the Modern Language Teacher’s Association and continues to be active in the languages community to this day. At various times she set HSC Indonesian examinations and was a Senior Marker and Judge. Despite ever-increasing responsibilities, she never allowed her first love to wane.

As Head of Senior School and Dean of Studies, Mrs Gould-Drakeley has overseen the flourishing of Macarthur’s academic culture. Macarthur’s performance across the State has gone from strength-to-strength under her guidance. When she began in the role of Dean of Studies just under 70% of Macarthur students matriculated to university. By the end of her administration, it was over 90%. Student performance lifted at all points of the continuum … with both our plodders and high-achievers securing commendable outcomes.

In 2009 Mrs Gould-Drakeley received the National Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership … a truly outstanding accolade. She has been a wonderful professional mentor to so many teachers both here and across the State. She encouraged Macarthur staff to continually reflect and improve upon their practice and to base their teaching upon the best educational research and data. She was a thorough professional in every sense.

With a font of wisdom and heart full of compassion, she has been a dearly loved and truly relational teacher who we will all miss (students and staff alike). We wish her well in her future career at NESA. We also wish her husband Steven our very best as Mrs Gould-Drakeley’s tireless service has not come without some sacrifice on his part.

With Mrs Gould-Drakeley’s departure the Headmaster has asked Mrs Elling, who has done a truly excellent job in 2019, to continue in the role of Dean of Studies. With Mrs Elling’s appointment, Mrs Watkins will also continue in the role of Head of Middle School. I am sure you will agree that the students will continue to be in great hands with these two at the helm.

May you and your children continue to bloom this Spring!

Andrew Kokic

From the Head of the IRC
SOCRATES 2019
Socrates is a programme for Year 9 and Year 10 students with a passion for deep learning. Each project is organised around a driving focus question that links into a personal interest area. Students develop an advanced and abstract understanding of knowledge beyond regular subject and year level expectations. Deep learning is scaffolded by an authentic enquiry methodology involving questioning, locating information, conceptualising, evaluating, analysing, synthesising and applying information, sharing knowledge and reflecting on learning through peer and self-evaluation. 
 
Core elements of the Programme include helping students develop:
  • advanced research skills
  • problem solving and higher order critical and creative thinking skills
  • social interaction skills
Participants this year met once per week across one and a half terms and were mentored by Miss Mantzouridis, Mr Nunn & Mrs Fitzpatrick. Students could also opt to have online mentorship if they were unable to attend Socrates sessions in the IRC. 

The Socrates Programme culminated in an energetic and interactive showcase last night that celebrated the specific and unique gifts of our students. Our participants should feel extremely proud to have presented these projects in addition to completing ongoing homework and assessments. Students have no doubt built lifelong skills which can be drawn upon in future learning contexts.
 
A special mention to Madeline Mingay who managed to complete her Socrates project early and film a detailed interview prior to travelling to Hungary. Madeline also Facetimed the Socrates group from Hungary to wish everyone well and see the projects come to life. This encapsulates the community of learning within the Socrates group. 

The quotes and photos below bring to life the learning culture and learning community that are intrinsic to the Programme.
 
Rebecca Fitzpatrick
Community Chat
In essence, Project Pink is an evening for women of the Macarthur community to gather together and chat about all things pink and specifically, cancer. It’s a hard one, isn’t it? I remember growing up and it was a shock when the Mum next door was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was almost unheard of. Today, more and more people are directly affected by cancer and it’s an incredibly difficult experience.
 
Project Pink continues to be such a wonderful evening because it’s a time to catch up with friends and forget the demands of the world while we raise awareness and funds for Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon. It is undoubtedly Women@Macarthur’s signature event and this year was possibly the best.
 
Sixty women attended on Monday evening, in the very relaxed and intimate surrounds of The Italian Food Project in Camden. We were treated to a gift of Pink Ribbon earrings on arrival plus there were succulents and soaps, King Proteas and lollipops for sale. The game, What I Would Tell My 16-year-old Self, created some amusing moments. The food was stunning, as only Alison and Guiseppe can do, but I am still giggling at how fast the phones came out to snap shots of the dessert platters when they arrived!
 
The highlight of the night was when Fleur Burge, mum to Osian in Middle School, spoke about her personal experience with breast cancer. Fleur’s talk was raw, honest and heartfelt and we are grateful to her for being so brave in telling us how it truly was. The only thing missing was a packet of pink tissues for everyone.
The Men@Macarthur’s Colourful Family Fun Run is fast approaching. The good news is, you don’t actually have to run! It’s a short course that can easily be walked, is suitable for all ages and accessible for wheels. Dogs are welcome too, on a short lead, of course. 
 
This event is all about raising awareness of mental health and is in support of Black Dog Institute. Come along wearing a white t-shirt and prepare to head home looking oh so colourful!
 
Dates for Your Diary

Saturday 26 October                      Class of 2009, 10 Year Reunion
Saturday 2 November                    M@M Colourful Family Fun Run. 
                                                       Bookings open at trybooking.com/546152
Wednesday 6 November                W@M Coffee and Catch Up – Afternoon
Friday 8 November                         Annual Benefit Concert. No need to book, details heading home soon.
Tuesday 19 November                   Thank You Breakfast. Bookings open at trybooking.com/556251
Tuesday 26 November                   W@M Gingerbread House Workshop
Tuesday 10 December                   Speech Night Buses – for families (separate to the early student buses)
                                                       Bookings open at trybooking.com/556197
Karyn Ingram
Spring Term Sport Clinics
STEM Careers

On 10 October, four Macarthur students - Olivia Dorrell, Aria Mahboob (Year 10) and Vanessa Kite and Rowena Kite (Year 9) attended the University of Technology to be involved in a day learning about STEM careers.

They participated in hands-on learning activities in construction, forensic science and data security. Statistics show that these are still male dominated careers so its very exciting that Macarthur has girls enthusiastic and interested in these areas. 
 
Belinda Watson
Year 5 Ag Club Become Biodiversity Champions
 
Learning how to conserve nature is part of agriculture. This week our Year 5 Ag Club students attended a field day hosted by Mater Dei. Our students learnt about the importance of habitat for our flora and fauna. We looked at the difference in water quality and animal diversity between two dams - one without livestock and one with. We learnt how to look for signs of wildlife and sweep a net to see what insects are found in the grasses. We also learnt about the importance of having an indigenous understanding on conservation.  

The event was hosted by The Biodiversity Conservation Trust, Petaurus Environmental Education, Tom’s Hooked on Nature and Mater Dei School. We are very thankful to gain this experience and knowledge of conservation in our area.
 
Thank you Larissa, Holly, Jack and Luke – without you we would not have had a successful day at Mater Dei.
 
Helen Glover
From the Head of Junior School

T-2 Sports Fun Day
Last Friday, T-2 throughly enjoyed their Sports Fun Day. Joined by a large number of parents, students remained in their grade groups and rotated around a number of activities including: 50m race, javelin, shot putt, long jump, sack race, egg and spoon race and parachute games. 

We were blessed with a beautiful day and the children enjoyed participating in a number of non-competitive sports dedicated to giving children a taste of athletics before they reach Year 3. Thanks must go to the staff who organised and ran the activities, making it an enjoyable day for everyone.

STAR Day

Next Friday, 1 November, children from T-4 will undertake STAR Day in order to raise funds for the schools we support in Bangladesh. Children are encouraged to bring silver coins to contribute to this worthy cause. During Recess the children can also purchase food. We would love for parents to assist in providing some cakes, fruit, muffins etc for the children to purchase. Thank you in advance.

Estelle Stelzer

Year 4

Princely Projects
Winter term concluded on a very high note with Year 4 students completing projects that included Writing, Science, Geography and Technology. They also had the opportunity to present their projects to parents, fellow students and students from other grades. As teachers we could not be prouder of the way students planned, researched and delivered their work. Students agreed that this was definitely one of the highlights of the year.

Skip for Bibles
Year 4 students are working hard to refine their skipping skills in time for the Skip for Bibles event that will be taking place on Friday, 1 November 2019. Money raised through this event is used to buy Bibles for Kindergarten students, ensuring they have access to God’s word from a young age.

Kerena Purvis and Elma Stassen
From the Head of Middle School
Debating

On Thursday 17 October, Macarthur hosted an IPSHA Debating Gala Day. There were eight other Independent schools from all over NSW in attendance. The topics for the debates were:
  • Students should write reports on teachers.
  • School sports should be optional. 
Our teams worked very hard leading up to the day with many students entering debating for the first time.  We entered four teams into seven debates over the day having to argue both affirmative and negative in each of the debates. The students persuasive powers were evident on the day with Macarthur being successful in six of our debates.
 
Congratulations to all of the teams who competed and thank you to the many students who assisted with chaperoning guests, adjudicating and being chairperson.
 
On Friday 18 October, Mikayla Butler, Siena Latham and Lucy-Lei Mingay competed in Round 8 of the Australian Virtual Debating Competition. The topic was ‘Young people today are more connected because of technology.’ We were the affirmative team in this debate and competed against a very solid team who presented convincing arguments. Congratulations to our team who were successful and will now compete in the Semi Finals.
 
Kathryn Pesic
Macarthur Regional Chess Tournament
 
On October 23, twenty-five students from Years 2-6, including myself, went to The Cube, Campbelltown to participate in the Macarthur District Primary Schools On-Day Chess Tournament. There were three people in a team and an allocated captain who scored the points.

When we arrived, we quickly started the rounds. Teams were allocated based on their scores. This meant everyone had a fair opponent and played people on the same level as them. There were seven rounds and after each round the points were tallied up and the teams would switch tables. After each round there were Chess Puzzles and the winner was chosen based on who had solved the often complicated puzzle. The winner will be put in the Chess Magazine. We were lucky enough to have four of our students chosen with the correct answers.  
 
After seven long rounds the top ten teams were announced and Macarthur had three teams in the top ten. My team achieved third and were awarded medals. We will now progress to the State Finals. For some students this was their first experience and it was an amazing day. 
 
Diego De Leon - Year 6 
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