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Macarthur Anglican School Bulletin
No. 3, Week 6 - Summer Term 2017
From the Headmaster

This morning the fourteenth group of Macarthur Year 11 students departed Sydney for Chiang Mai in northern Thailand on the annual Thailand Outreach Trip.  Once they arrive in Chiang Mai they will rest overnight before heading to Chiang Do in the mountain region to the north.  They will be visiting the James O’Fraser Centre which ministers to the Lisu ethnic group which is indigenous to an area stretching from south west China, Laos, Burma and northern Thailand.  The Lisu people are very disadvantaged and often shunted from one country to another. Over the weekend our students visit their subsistence farming villages and spend time with their children teaching them English.

Following that our students return to Chiang Mai where they will run an eCamp (English Camp) for primary aged students at Varee Chiang Mai School.  This has been a very successful program for fourteen years now and so I ask that you bring before God in prayer our students and the children they minister to over the next fortnight.

Mrs Sue Byers, who has lead the team and been a stalwart in the Learning Support area of the School, has resigned from Macarthur with her last day in the School being Friday 24 March 2017.  Mrs Byers, who is soon to complete her Educational Doctorate, has accepted a role with the peak representative body for independent schools, the Association of Independent Schools, providing support to the entire sector in Teacher Accreditation matters.  This is a significant role and I am sure, like me, you wish Sue all the best as she faces her new challenges.  I will be advertising for, and then appointing, a replacement for the commencement of Winter Term 2017.  In the interim, Sue’s position will be filled temporarily.

The IRC facelift is almost completed with most of the furniture arriving recently with some still on backorder.  There are a number of photos later in the Bulletin that you may find interesting.  I am delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response from the students.  The IRC has already seen a significant increase in student engagement and as the programmes within the IRC continue to develop I am sure student engagement will continue to increase.  Thank you to Mrs Fitzpatrick for her many hours of discussion with many people making this change happen.

I would like to acknowledge a very significant donation that has been made to the School in the last week. Mr James Patmore and his local business Piano Direction have very kindly donated a new piano for one of the Music classrooms.  More details and a photo can be found later on but this in kind donation is very much appreciated by the School in general and the Music students in particular.  As I often say to parents, the wonderful campus and facilities we have at Macarthur are primarily a result of the generous support of parents who have gone before us.  The support of current parents for the future development of the School will be a great legacy to future students at Macarthur. Thank you.

David Nockles

From the Deputy Headmaster

One of the strangest facts about schools is that every year group (cohort) has its own personality. Some cohorts are timid, others are boisterous. Some year groups push boundaries, other are compliant to a fault. Sometimes it is the boys leading the tone of the cohort, other times it is the girls. What is stranger still, is that the addition or subtraction of 2-3 personalities from a cohort of 70-80 students can radically alter the chemistry of the whole group.

Last year’s Year 12 cohort, whose results and character we recently trumpeted and celebrated, transformed markedly from the mischief-makers they were in Years 7-9. They would be the first to admit that at that time they were hard work. And their parents would have agreed. One or two of our star performers were, as 14 year olds, very trying.

However, over the course of 2-3 years, some students from this cohort left and others arrived. The teachers persisted in their tireless efforts and the students themselves matured. The effect was on the whole and it was total. The Year 12 of 2016 matured into a wonderful group of young men and women of which any school would have been proud.

It is a lesson worth learning. Keep a long view of your child’s education and their peer group. There are bound to be periods where you despair of your own child or the children of others in their cohort. Remember that all children grow, mature and change…usually for the better. If they don’t, your best hope is to live long enough to see them have children of their own.

Reconstruction of Cobbitty Rd and Associated Works
 
As mentioned by the Headmaster in the last Bulletin, Camden Council have informed the School that they intend to carry out works to strengthen the pavement and widen the seal of Cobbitty Rd between the entrance to the School (Governor Drive) and Macquarie Grove Rd.
 
According to the Council the works will be carried out to minimise inconvenience to motorists during peak periods, however, minor traffic delays can be expected.
 

Andrew Kokic

Dean of Studies

What Are You Reading? – A Conversation Starter
 
Without doubt, reading is important. Reading helps improve students’ literacy skills by providing opportunities for them to discover new words as well as giving them insights of how to use these words to better craft their writing. For most of us, reading is a daily activity. At school, all of our students are explicitly taught to read to hone their comprehension skills and higher order thinking. Students are also required to read texts in order to learn new content and concepts. Importantly, students are also encouraged to read at home for pleasure every day and this is particularly encouraged for students in the Junior School and Middle School.
                                                                                                      
Reading also helps students escape into a myriad of imaginary worlds and discover new ideas and perspectives. It also helps them consider the way different characters act and think and better prepares them for future interactions.
 
In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend, author Will Schwalbe extolled the value of reading.
 
Schwalbe asserted that asking people the simple question “What are you reading?” is “a simple yet powerful conversation starter that can provide us with a way share each other’s world". He related a story about a grandmother who asked her grandson what he was reading instead of the usual questions about how school is going and the like. He excitedly told her about ‘The Hunger Games’. She immediately went out and bought the book and their future phone calls were about the different characters, events and themes in the novel and predicting what would happen next. She has magically opened a door into his world.
 
There are a multitude of studies on the benefits of reading. There are strong links to students who read at at an early age and continuing their reading until the end of school as being the ones who achieve academic success.  Poor reading skills, however, are an indicator of under-achievement. Don't be fooled by the slogan "ignorance is bliss." As researcher Jim Rohn said "Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is poverty. Ignorance is devastation. Ignorance is tragedy. Ignorance is illness. It all stems from ignorance." 
 
A school year is approximately 180 days long. Kindergarten through to the end of Year 12 is thirteen years of schooling x 180 days or 2,340 days total. Your average life span is around 80 years or 29,200 days. In essence, all we have is about 8% of a child's lifetime to give them reading skills that will have an impact on them for the remaining 92% of their lives!
 
As William Faulkner, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, summarised his philosophy of success by saying, "Read, read, read."

Melissa Gould-Drakeley
Community Chat
TBT (Talk Back Thursday) is a women’s group, here at School, that answers questions around what your child is learning in regards to Christianity. It provides a relaxed and informal setting to explore a range of issues including parenting, marriage, friendship and self-worth.
 
Next Thursday 16 March, TBT is starting a series based on the book ‘Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life’.
 
We’ll be discussing the necessity for clear boundaries in living a healthy and balanced life, and how the purposeful setting of boundaries can help our relationships to flourish, particularly with our children!
 
TBT meets from 8.30am–9.30am and next week, to kick start the series, we’ll be meeting in the Cranmer Room.
 
Please contact me at kingram@macarthur.nsw.edu.au if you have any questions.
Karyn Ingram
Year 12 - Champ Camp - Save the Dates
 
25 - 29 September 2017
 
  • Consolidate study and form good study routines just before the HSC without distractions
  • Access teachers for advice, clarity and feedback on written responses
  • Collaborate with former students who recently excelled in the HSC and know what you are going through
  • Be motivated and encouraged
 
Champ Camp, the School’s study camp for Year 12, will be held in the first week of the September vacation, just before the HSC examinations. The camp offers students the opportunity to study for approximately thirty-five hours without distractions and most teachers of Year 12 will attend at some point to run sessions and mark work or offer individual consultations where necessary.
 
The camp gives students an excellent opportunity to hone their skills and receive feedback from their teachers at a crucial time in their preparation, and many former students have testified to the way it helped them to focus and succeed beyond even their own expectations.
 
Further details will come later in the year, any questions can be directed to Mrs Fitzpatrick or Mr Bedingfield.
 
Some quotes from 2016 students:
“Champ Camp is the best thing I have ever done. It really improved my marks”.
Monique Ewald
 
“It saves your HSC and helps you knuckle down for the final stages of the HSC. Make use of the teachers and former students there. They get it. They have been through it”
Rachel Soto
 
“35 hrs of supervised study in one week!...What else can I say.. It saved me”.
James T
The Furniture Has Now Arrived in the IRC (Innovation and Research Centre)
 
The educational landscape is rapidly changing and evolving. We have spent considerable time tapping into student voice to gauge the requirements of our 21st Century learners. Our vision for the IRC is to continue to inspire learning and meet the contemporary and future needs of our school community. The IRC is to be a hub of learning that encourages exploration, creation and collaboration between students, teachers, and the broader community.
 
Our students are very positive and excited about the new look and the flexibility of the learning space. It has been a wonderful experience watching the reactions and excitement of students who enter the refurbished space. Two memorable quotes from students this week are: “this makes me want to study” and “It’s beyond awesome”.

In terms of physical space and layout we have created:
  • “The Stack” (2 large compacti with our “non-fiction” books, DVD's and journals - we are still using the Dewey system and it is easy to locate books. This has freed up space for our collaborative learning furniture). All staff and students are able to go straight to the stack to find non-fiction material. The Stack is located behind the shelves in the walkway which leads down to the back of the Cranmer Room. All fiction books are located in the main body of the IRC.
  • a silent study room with individual carrels for silent study (a “zero tolerance to talk” room)
  • two seminar rooms with whiteboard access (targeted for collaborative group work)
  • a large area with flexible group desk space that can be configured in many formats (we have challenged ourselves to see how many shapes we can make!)
  • a large collaborative lounge/desk/ ottoman space where students can sit working on iPads/laptops or in small groups
  • perhaps the most popular feature so far are the cafe style booths along the back windows
  • the back of the Cranmer room is a flexible “bookable classroom”. This classroom can be packed up and moved quickly when larger events are in the Cranmer Room and the doors need to be opened
  • there are also a range of tech devices that will be available in the IRC over the coming weeks
  • the Junior Library is also starting to take shape and will continue to evolve
There will still be ongoing smaller changes over the coming weeks as we continue to create multidisciplinary and communal spaces, which can be configured in a number of ways for specific learning experiences. We hope this space continues to inspire and promote intellectual curiosity and invention and be an iconic crucible for learning.
 
Mrs Rebecca Fitzpatrick
Head of the IRC
Piano Donation for MC2

The Music faculty this week have been blessed by the generous gift of a new piano donated by James Patmore and his local business Piano Direction. The students featured rehearsing with Jon Stootman are members of the Boys Vocal Ensemble, Jarrod Webster, Bailey Pickles, Matthew Eder and Isaiah Gray.
Inés Marrable

Community Performance

Julia Kokic, Julia Fernandez and Amy Lidbetter represented the School last Friday performing at the Ingham Institute - Applied Medical Research Ladies Lunch held at Camden Lakeside Resort. It was a huge lunch affair with many different members of the public, parents and familiar faces from the community. The focussed and joyful way the girls represented the School in their performance was outstanding. 
 
Inés Marrable
Show Team News

Seven students along with two staff members, two steers and ten sheep attended the Canberra Royal Show from the 24 to 26 February.  

The results were as follows:

Steer results
 
Hoof
Ruffus First and Champion Lightweight Schools Steer
Alvin Fifth Schools middle weight class
 
Hook
Ruffus Fifth
Alvin Eighth
 
Cattle Paraders
 
Under 15
Bayley Gandy First in heat
Jackson Buda First in heat
Grace Jansen  First in heat
Grace Jansen Fourth in final
 
Under 16
Maddie Price Second in heat
 
Under 17
Merryn Bowman First in heat
Brooke Baker Second in heat
Merryn Bowman Reserve Champion Under 17 Parader
Brooke Baker Fourth in final
 
Sheep
 
Sheep Open Classes
 
1  First Ewe over 2 tooth (Merryn)
1  Second Ewe over 2 tooth (Tareva –Chine Atkin-Zaldivar (T))
1  Fifth Pair of ewes
 
Schools Classes
 
First Ewe over 2 tooth Reserve Champion Schools Ewe (T)
Fourth Ram born after 1st July (Bayley)
Fifth Ewe born after the 1st of July (Grace)
 
Sheep Handler Classes
 
13-15 Years
Megan Baker First /78 competitors
Tareva- Chine Atkin-Zaldivar Third /78 competitors
 
16 Years  and Over
Brooke Baker Third/ 34 competitors
 
Junior Judging Meat Breed Sheep
 
13-15 Years
Maddie Price First/78 competitors
Bayley Gandy Highly Commended (HC)
Grace Jansen HC
Tareva Chine Atkin-Zaldivar HC
 
16 Years and Over
Merryn Bowman First Champion Junior Meat Breed Judge
Brooke Baker Third
 
Merino Junior Judging
Merryn Bowman Fourth

Congratulations and well done!
David Baker

 
From the Head of Junior School

During the past week I have had the joy of spending extended time with our Junior School students. Firstly, many of our children represented Macarthur at the NASSA Swimming Carnival last Tuesday evening. The children were a credit to our school as they encouraged one another in the pool and from the stands. The positive attitude they exhibited as they cheered and raced was exemplary. In fact, a parent from another school represented at the Carnival sought me out to express her admiration and appreciation of one of our students who graciously shared her goggles with her child. What a wonderful example of thoughtfulness, kindness and consideration of other students. Thank you to the parents who cheered on our students and supported our school.

In the latter half of the week, Year 3 and 4 travelled to Galston Gorge for their annual Camp. God was gracious in providing us with fabulous weather as we undertook many and varied activities. The children revelled in the experiences and challenged themselves to try all that was on offer. Cheering, clapping and encouraging words could be heard as children climbed up rock walls or soared high on towers of crates. The children supported each other in their ventures and modelled behaviour befitting a Macarthur student. The staff were simply amazing and full of enthusiasm as they undertook the activities with the children. What a great way to start our year together. Below is a sneak peek of some photos from Camp. Next fortnight's Bulletin will include more photos and reports from students.

Estelle Stelzer

News from Year 1 

Year 1 has been working on Area in Mathematics. We learnt how to use different units of measurement to identify the surface area of different shapes. Then with our new knowledge, we were able to design our own robots and measure the size of their parts and entire body! 

Year 1 students are also having a closer look at books written by beloved author Mem Fox.  After reading "Shoes from Grandpa", students dressed figures in fabric scraps and then added labels to identify each piece of clothing. A definite favourite from the book was ‘a skirt that won’t show the dirt’.
 
Mrs Stassen and Mr Iturra 
From the Head of Middle School
Making Connections

'Hello...... Can you Hear Me?' With 'Adele' in town at the moment it does make me think about connections and the way many of our students make so may connections throughout their School day. Whether it be a connection with a peer, a teacher or with a particular interest, ministry or co-curricular group it is pleasing to see just how many groups our students are involved in and the many connections they value and continue to cherish. Much of the research tells us that if a child is able to make just one meaningful connection with a significant other during School they may be less likely to have difficulty with anxiety or worries. 

The recent Year 5/6 camp was one place where we saw many new connections made. It was wonderful to see the children stepping out of their comfort zone and seeing their failed attempts at many of the activities as learning experiences. On saying that, the canoeing experience was certainly made better when the canoe capsized and what about students building connections with their learning!

Here are some tips from the Study Skills Handbook Newsletter to help build students concentration skills. I love the idea of creating a focus word (or perhaps visual stimulus) to help keep you on track whilst studying or working from home.

Many students find it difficult to concentrate and stay focussed when they are doing their schoolwork at home.  So what can we do to to improve concentration levels?  Try these top tips:
  1. Improve the Environment:  Have a good hard look at the environment you are trying to concentrate in.  Is it noisy?  Are there more exciting things happening around you?  Is it too hot?  Too cold?  Are you uncomfortable?  Too comfortable?  What can you do to make the space more conducive to concentration?
  2. Blocks of Time:  If you are someone who finds it difficult to concentrate at home don't try and study for too long at a time.  Instead tell yourself you will work for 20-30 minutes then you can have a break.  If you know it is only 20-30 minutes it is much easier to concentrate than if it was for an indefinite period of time.
  3. Anchor to the Present:  Create a focus word that brings you back on task.  We all daydream.  The key is to start to pay more attention to when you are doing it and then immediately take action.  If your key word for example was 'orange' when you notice you are daydreaming  say 'orange orange orange' to refocus your attention to your work.
  4. Reset the Brain:  Sometimes you just need a time-out from what you are doing in order to be able to concentrate again.  If you attention is constantly wandering, then get up and have drink, walk outside, kick a ball - just take 5 to 10 minutes to clear your head so you can come back fresh to your work.
  5. Work Out Peak Times:  Start to pay attention to what time of the day you are most focussed.  That's when you need to do the harder work or the work that requires greatest concentration.  If you know you get tired after dinner don't leave the difficult work until then.
  6. Carrot and Stick:  Some people are motivated by working towards rewards, others by avoiding punishments.  Give yourself a target time to focus with a little reward at the end if you achieve it - or maybe a little punishment if you don't!
You can learn more about how to be a more effective student at www.studyskillshandbook.com.au.  There are also lots of useful grids and planners at the bottom of the 'Things to Print' page on this site.
Kylie Elling
 
 
Go Broughton! The winners of the Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6) House Points Trophy so far this term is BROUGHTON! Keep up the great work! Students in Year 5 & 6 are able to collect House Points from their teachers for working hard, showing initiative, helping and serving others or wearing their uniform correctly. These are tallied up for each Stage 3 Assembly. The students work hard to be the winning house. It does get very competitive!
Year 5 & 6 Camp Adventures!
 
The students from Years 5 and 6 were excellent representatives of Macarthur last week when they attended Camp at Deer Park, nestled in a beautiful part of the Royal National Park on Port Hacking. With easy access to the water, the students enjoyed participating in a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities.
 
The challenges included overcoming fear of heights in rock & rope climbing and developing skills in many areas such canoeing, sailing, orienteering and archery. A better understanding of ecosystems and God’s amazing creation was developed as the mangroves were explored. The students were also challenged to think cooperatively and laterally in the initiatives, tent erecting and design activities. To have as much fun as possible in the swimming pool and water slide was no challenge at all for both students and teachers! Their enthusiasm wasn’t dampened by the intermittent rain showers throughout camp.
 
During the Christian Discovery time each morning, the camp instructors presented many of God’s promises in fun, but thought provoking ways.
The fun and the learning didn’t stop in the evening! As well as the traditional camp games the students were treated to a feast of entertainment during ‘Macarthur’s Got Talent’. We had outstanding student acts that displayed talents such as singing, dancing, comedy acts, magic and hilarious parodies!
 
It was pleasing to see all students actively involved and having a great time despite the adverse weather conditions. The students experienced new challenges, developed teamwork skills and enjoyed opportunities to foster relationships with their peers and teachers outside their own class setting. 
 
Mr Andrew Wood 
Head of Year 5/6 Camp
 
From the Head of Senior School
Procrastination
 
I don’t know about you but I quite often use the long-held mantra, 'if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done'. Take this article, I have been putting off writing it for two weeks. Now, while that may not a great introduction when talking about procrastination, it is a reality. As an adult and being more than twice the age of the students in the Senior School, you think I would have this all under control by now, but realistically, this is a challenge for many of us. With this in mind, I completely understand when students struggle with this issue.
 
In my first year of teaching I was offered some advice by a colleague which has stayed with me. When struggling with the many things you have to do – stop sitting there and complaining about how much you have to do and just do something, even something small. This advice took me back at first but I took it onboard and discovered that it worked – the satisfaction I got completing the small task snowballed into then completing the other things. All of a sudden I had stopped procrastinating and was getting things done.
 
I was recently sent some advice on why we procrastinate and I thought it would be worth sharing with you. The advice is from Michael McQueen (https://michaelmcqueen.net)
 
Common reasons why we procrastinate.
  1. We aim too high – this relates to what I wrote earlier, we need to understand that doing something is better than doing nothing. Rather than trying to get the big things done, start with the small, even fun things. When it comes to the big things we need to break them up into manageable chunks, while the big thing may seem unachievable the smaller things are. McQueen suggests that this relates to Newton’s First Law of Motion – tendency of a body at rest is to stay motionless and the tendency of a body in motion is to keep moving.
 
  1. You wait til you feel like it – McQueen suggests that Motivation is often overrated, and I would agree. While it feels good when you are motivated sometimes you need to realise that you just need to get moving on a task and let your motivation follow. The analogy McQueen uses to explain this is that waiting for inspiration is a bit like saying to a fire, you give me the heat and I will give you some wood. Relying on how we are feeling could mean you may not get started at all.
 
  1. You are too focussed on what you need to do and not why – Give some time for the realistic big picture - what are you hoping to achieve (is it a good job, a good HSC result or even a new car). Use the understanding of why we do things as inspiration to get things happening – rather than just concentrating on what needs to get done. Where there is a will, there is a way and McQueen suggests you’ll only have the will if you have a strong and clear why.
 
If you are struggling (or your children are struggling) with procrastination now, remember to just start something, don’t be controlled by your feelings and make sure you spend time thinking about your long term goals. 
Scott Bedingfield
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