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Macarthur Anglican School Bulletin
No. 13, Week 6 - Winter Term 2019
From the Headmaster

The end of the Academic Year for students in Year 7-12 is rapidly approaching with the end of this term. This means, of course, that Yearly Examinations are fast approaching too as are the final days of Year 12.

While examinations are entrenched within our schooling system, their importance needs to be placed within the wider context of assessment. Examinations over time have proven their usefulness as a form of summative assessment - that is assessment that looks at achievement on specific outcomes at a single point in time. Sometimes this feed back is helpful but seldom just in and of itself. On the whole, examination results are helpful when the outcomes are viewed within the broader scope of overall assessment, that is, ongoing assessment and other forms of non-examination assessment.

It is seldom in life that we use a single determinate to measure anything that is complex within the human condition. Student success and flourishing is an excellent case in point. However, with all of that being said, examinations hold a particular relevance in our schooling system and so students are encouraged to work towards them with purpose and persistence. Parents could certainly assist students by discussing with their children that these examinations do not define them and simply give a glimpse of a whole. Help them put it in a context and not over inflate their importance.

While the HSC Examinations are undeniably higher stake assessment, my comments above apply to them just as much. I think over the next five years we are in for an interesting public debate about the HSC and matriculation. This will be partly addressed by Professor Geoff Master’s review of the NSW curriculum currently being undertaken on behalf of the Minister for Education.

While our Transition to Year 6 students do not have examinations as part of their assessment schedule, the same can be said as far as other formal and summative assessments, such as formal tests, are concerned. It is important for parents to recognise the diversity of ways the teachers come to know their students and how they assess them, both formally and informally, using a variety of tools.

What a joy the Father’s Day Breakfast was last week and what a bumper turnout. We were interested to see if the inclement weather might turn some away but our concerns were unfounded. The weather was fantastic and turnout even better. I love the fact that we can have such strong engagement with Dads in the School in a society that is increasingly becoming busy. Personally, I had a number of wonderful chats with Dads and would have liked to have more but that ‘busy life’ got in the way.

At the end of this term I am fortunate enough to be taking some Long Service Leave and I wish to thank the School Council for allowing me to do this. At the end of this year I will complete my eighteenth year at Macarthur and my eleventh year as Headmaster. What a privilege it is to lead a school of such distinction. During my leave, School Council have appointed Mr Andrew Kokic as Acting Headmaster and I am confident the year will end well under his leadership. Notwithstanding my leave, I will return in time for Speech and Awards Night.    

David Nockles
From the Deputy Headmaster
Wisdom – The Missing Ingredient
 
I was hurriedly summoned from my desk two weeks ago because my wife had fallen heavily in the playground and damaged her wrist. Amidst my sympathetic gestures, she happened to ask if her accident had interrupted anything. My reply, “This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”
 
Wrong answer.
 
Factually correct. Truthful. An ethically sound response. But as I discovered (… for quite some time after), it was the wrong response.
 
Mother’s Day 2017 presented a very similar dilemma. The children’s failure and consequent disappointment to their mother to make the appropriate fuss on this special day was directed (rather unfairly I thought) at me. I discovered, (… again for quite some time afterwards), that ‘appropriately’ re-directing blame with the response, ‘But you’re not my mother,’ did nothing to assuage her annoyance.
 
Again, I was factually sound … but somehow very, (and I mean VERY) wrong. 
 
The missing ingredient in both these incidents was wisdom. 
 
Facts and truth are important. And morals and ethics are important. But none of these are identical to wisdom.
 
Wisdom is defined as ‘competency in dealing with the complex realities of life.’ If we want life to go well with us, we need more than facts and truthfulness and a strong moral compass. As important as all these things are, we need wisdom.
 
Wisdom is not identical to moral goodness and moral values. Even though you can’t attain true wisdom without these, it is possible to be a highly moral and ethical person and get things completely wrong.
 
In our history the episode of the Stolen Generation is such an example. There were many well-intentioned people in government, in churches, amongst members of the public, who wanted the best for Aboriginal children and earnestly believed that removing them from their birth homes and communities would be the best solution to the problems they faced. They were wrong, dreadfully wrong. Their wisdom was flawed, and despite the best intentions, it wrought terrible consequences.
 
Similarly, one can make a strong moral/ethical argument for both sides of our current refugee debate. Which is probably why it is so contentious. But perhaps the debate is really about ‘wise’ choices rather than moral ones. I don’t have the answers to this problem, but I do wonder if ‘wisdom’ rather than ‘morality’ is the impasse?
 
Christians believe that God has not simply left us with moral and ethical codes in his Word, important though they are. He also teaches us and encourages us to be wise. The Book of Proverbs in the Bible provides a whole repository on wisdom and how to apply it.
 
At Macarthur we value knowledge and naturally, as a Christian School, we value morality and ethics. But without wisdom they are of little value. Knowledge can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. The world is full of evil geniuses. Similarly, as I demonstrated above, without wisdom good ethics can be misguidedly applied to disastrous ends.
 
For these reasons it is important as parents not to confuse knowledge, ethics or morals with wisdom. A ‘clever’ child can be a devil and a ‘good’ child can lack understanding of others and be insensitive to their struggles. Wisdom makes the difference.
 
Recently I read, “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent” (Proverbs 17:28-29).

…then it struck me…

Prudence…That’s what I lack! When in doubt keep your lips closed! I have found the wisdom I need for a happy life/happy wife!!!

Until next time ... until she asks, “Does this dress make my bottom look too big?”
Andrew Kokic
From the Dean of Students 

MMG Parent Survey
 
If you have previously completed the Parent Online Survey facilitated by MMG, you will have gained an appreciation of the depth of analysis that the School can use to form the basis of future planning and decisions. The feedback has proven to be of enormous benefit and I urge all parents of Years 1, 5, 9 and 12 to complete the survey before it closes on Sunday 8 September.  A link to the site was emailed to relevant families on Friday 23 August.
 
Students from Years 7, 9 and 12 will also be provided with an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and will complete questionnaires under supervision at the School.
 
To ensure confidentiality and to encourage frank and full expression of views:
  • All responses will be treated in strict confidence.
  • Respondents will not be identified to the School by MMG Education on the basis of questions asked or responses made.
  • All data collected by MMG will remain under its control and archived according to research protocols. The School will not be able to access it.
If you have any questions regarding the project, please contact me.
 
I am looking forward to the valuable contribution you will be making to this most important project by completing your questionnaire.
 
Tim Cartwright 

 
From the Head of the IRC
The Power of Sustained Effort

I overheard a student recently, talking to their parent when they left Parent-Teacher Night. Many of us will remember that long walk out of Parent-Teacher Night … waiting for the 'conversation' with our parents! The student was informing their parent that a peer was “just a freak of nature who doesn’t study and goes so well. I wish I had that ability”. The student they were referring to, I happen to know, has some natural ability, but also works extremely hard in a sustained capacity.
 
Some students mistakenly think the formula for academic attainment is ability = success. Others acknowledge ability + effort = success. What we are working towards is having all students understand that no matter what their level of 'natural ability', effort multiplies ability (very few 'talented' sportspersons or musicians showcase their talent without a whole lot of effort).
 
I have previously written about Dr. Angela Duckworth (Ph.D. Psychology) who outlines a set of simple formulas that define the relationship of talent and effort:
 
Skill = Talent X Effort – Skills must be practiced to be developed and practice requires sustained effort.
Performance = Talent X Effort² – Effort is twice as important as talent when explaining success. Academic gains should be seen as a marathon. Stamina is required and effort must be enduring.
 
What students can struggle to understand as they look at perceived 'natural talent' around them is it is often just a peer who has actually worked very hard behind the scenes to build that skill. 
 
This week, I came across material from Michael Berger, a Director of Graphic Design and Visual Experience. He refers to three categories of students along a talent and effort spectrum:
 
The Worker
50% talent, 50% effort. This all-rounder is a very stable, consistent performer who comes with natural abilities, but also the work-ethic to realise their potential.
 
The Rockstar
90% talent, 10% effort. These types flame fast and then fade out. Their natural talent has given them great confidence, but they peak prematurely as they can’t transition into later development phases where effort starts to trump talent.
 
The Grinder
10% talent, 110% effort. This person starts off disadvantaged, with less talent than others, but that underdog mentality has taught them the value of effort, of which they deliver in spades early and often. They may be slow starters, but they can grow to peak at the same level as the best Workers or Rockstars.
 
Source: Cited at https://medium.com/swlh/performance-talent-x-effort%C2%B2-bf2cf75bb550.
 
Most teachers would agree effort is the great equaliser. It is easy to respect the grinders. All teachers could tell you about the students they teach/have taught that simply put their head down, chip away at it one piece at a time and consistently work extremely hard to continually improve.
 
Most teachers would also acknowledge that sometimes the 'rockstars' can get too used to relying on talent and can get complacent, if not lazy. 'Rockstars' can be very frustrating to teach, as one is often left wondering what could have been. Talent represents the potential for great performance, but is meaningless unless recognised and cultivated. For this reason, the 'grinder' and the 'worker' will often trump the 'rockstar' long term.
 
It is beneficial to draw attention to effort and get students reflecting earnestly on their effort. This can be as simple as asking students to rank their effort based on a scale of one (low) to ten (high). Placing a unit value on effort is effective, however, we also need to encourage students to explain why they gave their work the effort score they assigned. This helps us gain context. If a student gets full marks but gives an effort score of 3, they have done the task with minimal effort. This is not a good use of their time and more challenging tasks or options are needed. 
 
If a student does poorly on a task but gives themselves a ten for effort because they worked hard on the task each day, conversed online with experts from four different countries, and watched every YouTube clip there is on said topic, then we need to dig further. It is important to investigate whether the task was too challenging, or if the effort was misdirected. In this case, modifications and adjustments need to be made so that the effort the student is investing is more likely to pay off in the future.
 
We all need to engage students in conversations that help them understand the connections between effort and outcomes. Talent and skill are built on effort and can always be learned and improved. Consistency and a sustained approach are needed.
 
It has been inspiring to witness cumulative growth in student effort in the IRC. Effort is becoming the accepted culture. We are grateful to successive year-groups for raising the bar and engraining this 'culture of effort'.
 
We need to continue to instil in our students:
·     effort is how hard you work — how determined your attempt is
·     hard work is more important than innate ability
·     natural talent is a great foundation, but sustained effort is a multiplier
·     effort is a personal decision, and it is self-fulfilling
 
Rebecca Fitzpatrick
Warren Scholarship

Please note that applications for the above Scholarship close on Friday 27 September.  If you are in Year 11 and wish to apply please go to the following link to find an information booklet and the application form:

http://www.macarthur.nsw.edu.au/warren-scholarships
Community Chat
Do you know how hard it is to choose just the right gift for the big man in your life? Should we ponder how many ums and ahs it takes for a class of five year olds to express their love for dad in a wrapped up box? There’s always a little bit of confusion and 'deer in the headlights' moments but ask them if they’re looking forward to Father’s Day and they give the loudest cheer. I am certain it’s the fastest they move each time I knock on the door of a classroom to let the students know we’re ready for them at the stall! 
 
My thanks again to everyone who helped me with wrapping and the stall. I am grateful for your time and patience.
 
The Business Networking Event a couple of weeks ago was an enjoyable afternoon of connecting. It’s always interesting to see the broad range of businesses within our school community. This year, we welcomed;
  • Fraser Suites Sydney
  • 4promote
  • Barrett Evolution
  • MrRental
  • Curtains Blinds and Design
  • Floral Artistry by Yvonne
  • Konnecting Skilled Migration and Recruitment Specialists
  • WW (Weight Loss & Wellness Help)
.
Do you have a child starting in Transition or Kindergarten next year? Playgroup runs every Monday during term and is a terrific way for both you and your child to meet other children and parents as they prepare for ‘big school’. We meet 8.30am-9.30am at Exploring Tree.

Please contact me for further details on 4629 6207.
The end of the year is rapidly approaching and there are a number of dates for your diary.
 
Saturday 12 October                       Class of 1989, 30 Year Reunion
Saturday 19 October                       Class of 1999, 20 Year Reunion
Monday 21 October                         W@M Project Pink
                                                         Bookings open at http://trybooking.com/546142.
Saturday 26 October                       Class of 2009, 10 Year Reunion
Saturday 2 November                     M@M Colourful family Fun Run
                                                        Bookings open at http://trybooking.com/546152.
Tuesday 26 November                   W@M Gingerbread House Workshop
Karyn Ingram
Birds in Schools Project

Last week we had a visitor, Mr Tom Covell from http://Birdlife.org teaching our 5-6 Ag Club students how to identify birds found around our school.  

We learnt how to find specific birds using field guides. We then spent time outside armed with our binoculars to see what birds we could identify near the School Farm. During a twenty minute survey we were amazed at how many varieties of birds we could find. These included Musk Parrots, a Pelican, Black Swans, Pacific Black Duck, Superb Fairy Wren, Australian Wood Duck, Australian Magpie and Purple Swamphen.  The students were quite surprised by the variety of birds we have in our school. Our project will continue as we plan to conduct more surveys and learn the skills to identify birds and their calls.  

If you are interested in conducting bird surveys at your home contact http://birdlife.org.au/.
 
Helen Glover
5-6 Ag Club Co-Ordinator
NCSS Challenge at Macarthur

Over the past five weeks, sixty-eight students from Years 5-12 participated in the NCSS Challenge run by Sydney University and Grok Learning. There were four levels of difficulty in the Challenge: Newbies, Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.

Each week, a new set of questions (and notes) were released, with the difficulty of questions increasing every week. Questions ranged in difficulty, from writing code that would print Hello World, decode ciphers and calculate data from files. In the advanced stream, students learned how to create a bot that plays Big Two.

Countless hours (and Freddos) were consumed debugging and problem solving and many groans were heard when students discovered their code did not pass because they missed a character in their output.

It has been rewarding seeing students grapple with problems and then arrive at the lightbulb moment when it all made sense. All the students who participated have walked away with a better understanding of how to code and should be congratulated for their efforts. 
Sarah Tor
Talented Languages Day
 
The Talented Languages Day was a really fun and interactive experience for Year 8 students who are passionate about learning Indonesian. The day began with a friendly game of pass the parcel, Indonesian style! This game challenged us to think about what the question was asking us and it was an interesting way to see who was the most honest. 

The main activity of the day was making a short film for the Modern Language Teachers Association Linguafest Competition. This activity really challenged all of us as we had to produce a script that was all in Indonesian, but it developed our teamwork skills and it caused us to be meticulous about our pronunciation. However, with the help from our incredible teachers, Bu Blake, Pak Blake, Bu Williams and Bu Sutcliffe, we were able to further extend our vocabulary. It is truly a great privilege to have such experienced teachers to teach us about the language and culture of Indonesia. Many props and traditional Indonesian clothing were provided for us to wear during our filmmaking process.

Then lunch came around, what we all had been waiting for! With the choice of noodles or fried rice, we were all able to have a taste of Indonesian cuisine. Then, we all learnt an Indonesian line dancing routine and all the teachers were really getting into it! After dancing, we competed in the garlic cracker eating contest! It was an Indonesian snack that we had to try and eat without our hands!

Finally, the day ended by showcasing each other’s videos and it was so interesting to see what other people had come up with. I really encourage younger students to be passionate about learning the Indonesian language as it is a great skill to have and it deepens your knowledge about different cultures and connections. 
 
Justine Fouwler
Legacy Public Speaking Competition

On Tuesday, 27 August, our very own Isabella Urquhart (Year 8) competed at the Regional Finals of the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Competition. All competitors were required to compose and present a five-minute speech on any topic they feel passionately about. They also participated in an impromptu round, wherein students were provided with an adjudicator-selected topic – ‘Coming Second’ – and given five minutes to compose a two-minute impromptu speech on this topic. 
 
The cohort of competitors were of a high calibre and I commend Isabella for her composed, confident, and convincing delivery of both of her speeches. She represented Macarthur with grace and pride, and I congratulate her on her outstanding achievement. 
Stephanie Mantzouridis
The Macarthur Art Prize
 
Last Friday evening was the opening of our first annual Macarthur Art Prize. Students from the Year 11 Visual Arts class, along with teacher Mrs Murphy had been organising this  exhibition for the past two Terms. Entries were open to all students from Years 7-12 in the categories of Drawing, Painting and Other.

With over forty incredible entries it was challenging for the judges to settle on winners in the various categories. Special mention needs to be given to Grace Sun in Year 7 who took out the prize for best overall Art Work. Her drawing was truly exceptional. Below are the other winners in the various categories:

7/8
Drawing: Nellie Jansen
Painting: Sanjar Ali
Other: Lilly Siemon
 
9/10
Drawing: Anna Dinh
Painting: Claire Sich
Other: Aria Mahboob
 
11/12
Drawing : Natalia Zbiljic
Painting : Scout Campbell
Other: Harrison Barrett
 
Packers Prize : Xinhe Sun
Overall Winner: Grace Sun
 
Congratulations to all who participated. We hope to see you enter next year’s exhibition.
 
Quentin Hordern
From the Sports Desk
MISA

Round 4 of MISA saw Macarthur play Mount Annan Christian College and Macarthur managed to get a clean sweep with all teams winning, results as follows: 

Year 10-12 Girls Softball won 6-4
Year 10-12 Boys Cricket won 136-49
Year 7/8 Boys Soccer won 5-0
Year 9/10 Boys Soccer won 4-0
Year 7-9 Girls Soccer won 3-0
Year 7/8 Netball won 24-7
Year 9/10 Netball won 36-6
Boys AFL won 31-30
Girls AFL won 24-1
  
In Round 5 of MISA, Macarthur played Oran Park Anglican College and nearly managed to get a second clean sweep in a row with only one team going down, results as follows: 

Year 10-12 Girls Softball won 10-2
Year 10-12 Boys Cricket lost 81-56
Year 7/8 Boys Soccer won 3-0
Year 9/10 Boys Soccer won 4-0
Year 7-9 Girls Soccer won 6-0
Year 7/8 Netball won 29-13
Year 9/10 Netball won 28-11
Boys AFL won 53-9
Girls AFL won 16-8
  
IPSSO
Over the last two weeks for IPSSO we have had a bye round and then played a round against Mount Annan Christian College and St Gregory's College. Congratulations to those teams that had a win.
Here are the results from the games against Mount Annan Christian College (MACC) and St Gregory's College (STG):
 
                                                            Year 3/4                                  Year 5/6
Soccer                                               MAS 2,  STG 6                       MAS 1,  STG 2
Newcombe/Volleyball                        MAS 2,  STG 1                       MAS 2,  STG 0
Netball                                               MAS 5,  MACC 7                    MAS 11, MACC 10
AFL                                                    MAS 0,  MACC 78                  MAS 24, MACC 27
 
 
NASSA Basketball Gala Day
The NASSA Open Basketball Gala Day was held on Thursday 29 August at Hills Basketball Stadium. Macarthur send both a Girls team and Boys team to represent at this event. Both teams played extremely well throughout the entire day. A big thanks to Mr Kruse and Reverend Hayman for coaching on the day.
 
Australian Cross Country Championships
The School Sport Australian Cross Country Championships were held on 23-26 August at Kembla Joggers. Macarthur Anglican had Lauren Ward qualify to attend this exceptional level representing NSW. Lauren represented with great pride completing the 4km course in fourteen minutes and thirty-nine seconds placing her fourteenth in Australia. This is a great achievement from Lauren as she had to compete against girls a full year older. Lauren also represented in the 5 x 2000m Relay in which NSW won the Gold medal. Congratulations Lauren on this outstanding achievement!

Wesley Horne

Further State Snowsports Results

The second half of the State Snowsports Competition occurred 23-25 August at Perisher.

William Kennedy (Year 10) Div 2 Moguls 34th Individual

Kruze Kellner (Year 9), Angus Murphy (Year 10), William Kennedy and Connor Dunbier (Year 9) Div 2 Alpine 13th team

Alina Hill (Year 10) 39th Individual and Aislinn D’Arcy (Year 11) Div 1 Snowboard GS - No team result

Alina Hill and Aislinn D’Arcy 31st Individual Div 1 Snowboard X - No team result

Joshua Drayton (Year 11) Div 1 Skier X 33rd Individual

Joshua Drayton, Fletcher Kubik (Year 11), Tobias Howard (Year 12) and James White (Year 11) Div 1 Alpine 7th team (top 6 teams go to Nationals so very close!)

Macarthur Anglican School - Equal 12th amongst the Co-Ed Schools

Thankyou to Mrs D’Arcy who accompanied the students to the competition and to parents who are so essential in ensuring students have the opportunity to participate in the Snowsports Program at Macarthur.

Erica Looyen - Snowsports Co-ordinator

Left to Right: Kruze Kellner, Angus Murphy, William Kennedy and Connor Dunbier
Alina Hill and Aislinn D'Arcy
Left to Right: Joshua Drayton, Fletcher Kubik, Tobias Howard and James White
From the Head of Junior School

Screen time ... how much is too much? What impact is screen time having on children and their wellbeing? How is it affecting children's sleep? Much research has been undertaken over the past decade concerning these questions. As a parent of two teenagers, I have had many long conversations with my children regarding our family guidelines and expectations surrounding the use of screens. For example: all devices are charged in one room of the house while we sleep, including us as their parents! We also highly encourage our children to turn off their devices an hour before sleeping so that the production of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, has decreased so that they can get to sleep quickly.  

Sleep is an essential part of our development and wellbeing. It is important for learning and memory, emotions and behaviours, and in general, our overall health. Although it is yet to be established how much is too much when it comes to screen time, it is currently recommended that children under the age of 13 are limited to 2 hours per day, and children below 5 to less than one hour a day. The benefits of creative play outside (particularly now as the weather is warming up) far out ways the benefits of screen time. Below I have attached the current e-safety commissioner recommendations for screen time for your children. I encourage all parents to be proactive in putting some or all of these suggestions in place while children are young, and begin having these important conversations with your children so that they understand the reasoning behind your choices as a family.

Estelle Stelzer

Kindergarten

Kindergarten have enjoyed exploring sea creatures as part of our Science Unit.  We have had fun learning about animals who live in the ocean through hands-on exploration. Students particularly enjoyed exploring using the microscopes. We also learned how to gather information from different sources. The highlight of our investigations was our visit to the Sydney Aquarium where students came back with more wonderings and questions that we will continue to investigate.
  
Michelle Tindal, Isaac Iturra and Sabrina Symington
From the Head of Middle School
CRU Fit Day
 
On Monday 30 September, fourteen students from Year 5 travelled with Mrs Pesic to Broughton Anglican College for a CRU Fit Training Day. During an exciting and busy morning, the students participated in a series of games and group activities with the purpose of learning more about Jesus. This is the second session Macarthur has been involved in this year. Throughout the day students were encouraged to love Jesus through the example they set for their friends at school.
 
Our students enjoyed interacting with peers from another school and learning more about Jesus.  They will now put their training into effect by assisting with the running of Oasis on Thursday lunchtimes.  We look forward to them spreading the wonderful word of Jesus.
Carolyn Watkins
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