From the Principal

New Years Resolutions

Dear Parents, Students and Friends

Starting a new year at school is great time for making new resolutions. The following are resolutions that I would love your son to be making as we go back to school:

  • Support the mighty Sea Eagles (I had to get that one in).
  • Bring a reading book that he loves to read every Tuesday morning for Tutor group. We have Reading Tuesday every week. Has he got a book that works for him? Make reading a part of every day.
  • Learn to ask questions. Start by having him question himself. What does he understand of the work that his teacher is presenting? Then learn to ask questions of the teacher.
  • Learn to be organised. Organisation takes a bit of time and a mind set. We need to do a bit every day and a bit every week to be organised including organising notes for each subject. Prue Salter speaks to the boys in Years 7, 11 and 12. She devotes time to the boys in helping them find their own way of creating meaningful notes and then using these notes to help with exam preparation.
  • Start to identify his Goals for 2019. We have Goal Setting Day on Wednesday 20 February 2019. His goals can drive the work that he does throughout the year.
  • Calendar his assignments and assessment tasks. Calendar the mid year exams. Calendar some weeks of preparation prior to these exams. One of the clues to success is knowing what has to be done by when and then to go about getting this to happen.
  • Find a word or time for someone he doesn’t know. Learn to talk to people outside his circle of friends.
  • Help someone. Our school is a very inclusive place. Who is not included in our game, classwork, conversation, lunchtime?
  • Join a team or plan some regular recreation.
  • Join one of the Solidarity activities for Years 9 to 12. Do this a few times. Year 9 make sandwiches for Night Patrol, Year 10 go to Street Level Cafe, Year 11 support Matthew Talbot Hostel, some Year 11 go on Immersion and Year 12 support Night Patrol. There is such great value in supporting those on the margins of society.
  • Drop in to the Church at St Mary’s - Say hi to God.

I have one resolution for parents. If I could encourage parents to do one thing it would be to work on their son/s having a Growth Mindset. Carol Dweck has been the leading advocate of this attitude. There is a short youtube clip on Growth Mindset which takes just under 10 minutes. She is a great advocate for the power of "YET" in a child’s understanding of their learning.

My enthusiasm for the Growth Mindset is that it allows each student to see their learning as a journey and not as a dead end based on a certain mark in an assignment. Our school is a great advocate for wellbeing and resilience in particular. Wellbeing is actually the fourth point in our school mission statement.

Parents and Friends Welcome
On Friday 22 February we have three opportunities:
  • 5pm there will be a meeting of the Parents of the Year 7 Newman Class in the Academic Resource Centre (ARC).
  • 5.30pm there is a meeting of all Year 7 Parents (only) in the College Hall.
  • 6.30pm We have the Parents and Friends Welcome. The Marist Parent Community comes together to welcome the Year 7 Parents. We need parents who have been here for some time to greet our newest parents.
Tony Duncan

From the Assistant Principal

Welcome to 2019

Welcome back to all our parents in Years 8 – 12 and a special welcome to all our new parents in Year 7 along with those who have begun in other Years. This is my first newsletter piece at Marist College North Shore. So far my short time at the College has been extremely positive; your sons have shown themselves to be polite and well-mannered young men who love their school. I look forward to meeting many of you at the P&F drinks on Friday 22 February.

The College theme for 2019 is Embrace. The students, in developing the theme for this year, placed great emphasis on the following key areas: respect, identity, compassion, resilience. They will work with all boys on accepting one another through those four key areas. 

There are many upcoming events that mark the beginning of a new school year – the Commencement Mass, the Year 7 camp and the welcome to Year 7 parents evening; details can be found below.

All parents and students have access to the College’s SENTRAL Student/Parent Portal. Please ensure you utilise this resource on a weekly basis. The boys MUST access SENTRAL on a daily basis. School bulletins will be posted on SENTRAL as well as the boys timetable and attendance. If you do not yet have access to the SENTRAL portal please email the College’s IT department.

If you have already registered for SENTRAL remember to use your email and password to access the portal. You can access the portal via our College website.

The College has many ways that communication between staff, students and parents may take place. The College diary is the first form of communication, especially for class teachers and tutors. Email contact details for the specific Leaders of Learning and House Coordinators are listed on the College website. The diary, College website and skoolbag app list calendar of events, letters to parents and proformas.

Attendance and Punctuality
Student attendance remains an important focus for the College. A student who is not at school, cannot learn and the research is very clear linking student attendance and academic achievement in all years. Should your son be sick, ensure you contact the College that morning; if you are having trouble getting your son to school for any other reason, it is vitally important you contact your son’s House Coordinator as soon as the problem arises. It is recommended, that where possible, all appointments should be made after school hours and during the holiday breaks.

The diary is very important in ensuring your son is organised and ready to learn. It is also, as mentioned above, crucial for home/school communication. You will find in the diary all College rules and expectations. We ask for all parents’ support in ensuring all College rules, expectations and procedures are followed. It makes it very difficult when parents ‘cover’ for their son’s when they have not followed the rules/procedures of the College. As well as academic learning, it is vitally important that our boys learn that all actions have consequences and they must think through and take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. 
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Faith Formation


World Youth Day 2019 took place in Panama City, Panama in the week of the 22 January to the 27 January. Over 200 pilgrims from Sydney Catholic Schools journeyed to Panama via Mexico or Washington DC. They were taking up the Pope’s invitation to young people all over the world to come together for World Youth Day celebrations and learn more about their faith whilst at the same time having the time of their lives. The culmination of the week was the Closing Mass in Metro Park where over 700,000 people from over 150 countries came together to celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist and hear Pope Francis’ Address. In it the Pope built on the theme of this World Youth Day “I am the servant of the Lord, Let it be done to me according to your word,” encouraging young people to pray and seriously consider how God is calling them to live and act because they “are not the future but the now of God.”

Marist College North Shore was represented by four students: Luke, Keaton, Zach and Jack, along with myself. We were fortunate enough to travel to Panama via Mexico City, experiencing the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, and the awe-inspiring Basilica of Our Lady of Guadelupe as just two highlights of the trip. Like every pilgrim who had the chance to go, we at times found it hard to put into words the deep impact the experience of World Youth Day had but each of us was strengthened in our own spiritual understanding and knowledge of the Catholic Faith and I am sure this will continue as we return back to our normal routines.

In our modern society we are often obsessed with measuring the impact and effect of what we do; trying at all times to make sure that we get the “most bang for our buck.” Experience’s like World Youth Day by their very nature defy that trend because they impact people on a spiritual and emotional level and how can you measure the immeasurable? But upon reflecting on the rollercoaster that was our World Youth Day pilgrimage I have these numbers and statistics to share that hopefully capture, if not the spirit of the experience then at least, its immense scope:

WYD2019 in statistics:
  • 700,000 young people
  • 255,497 steps taken
  • 37,750 kms flown
  • 197 kms walked
  • 16 days travelled
  • 8 flights
  • 1 faith that is alive in the hearts of millions.

Creative and Performing Arts


Hello Musicians and Parents.

Welcome to Marist College North Shore Performing Ensembles for 2019.  I look forward to a highly successful musical year and welcome all the new members to our ensemble.  We have some scheduled performances that need to be ready for College Open Afternoon, ANZAC Day and the Easter Show.


Senior Concert Band will rehearse every Wednesday and Friday morning from 7.50am until 8.30 am.  Starting Week 2 Friday 8 February.


Jazz Ensemble will rehearse every Wednesday afternoon from 3.15pm until 4.10pm. Starting Week 3 Wednesday 13 February.  We will be preparing for our performance at College Open Afternoon.  I will confirm the members by email.


Percussion Ensemble will rehearse every Thursday morning from 7.50am - 8.30am. Starting Week 3 Thursday 14 February.  We will be preparing for our performance at the College Open Afternoon.


College Open Afternoon: Wednesday 27 February 2019 from 4.30pm Term 1, Week 5.

ANZAC Day March: Thursday 25 April 2019
Easter Show Performance: Week 10 Term 1 Date TBA
Marist Music Eisteddfod Solo Performances: Term 2 Date TBA
NSW School Band Festival: Concert Band and Jazz Band Term 3
Ryde Eisteddfod: Concert Band and percussion Ensemble Term 2
Marist College Spring Music Festival: Term 3
Country Band Performance Tour: Term 4

If you have any questions please contact Mr Herbert.  I am looking forward to a year of wonderful music!

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2019 Music Tuition Program

The Music Tuition Program is now in its 28th year offering students an opportunity to learn a musical instrument with a tutor in a one on one teaching environment. Each student in the program has goals established with their parents and their tutor to provide an individualised pathway for their learning needs and interests. Some students use the Music Tuition Program in preparation for the HSC performance examination, some students prepare for AMEB or Trinity Examinations, and students embrace a holistic approach to their education by learning a musical instrument for their intrinsic motivation.

There are many benefits in the students in learning a musical instrument:
  • Self Expression
  • Intrinsic enjoyment
  • Concentration and focus
  • Self discipline
  • Increases memory
  • Improves time management and organisational skills
  • Develops perseverance
  • Coordination skills
  • Improved mathematical ability
  • Improving reading and comprehension skills
  • Cultural and historical awareness
  • Social skills in joining the Band
  • To bring enjoyment and happiness to those who listen to music

The music tutors, in conjunction with Mr Rod Herbert, aim to enhance student’s musical ability and appreciation through the Music Tuition Program and the College’s Band Program. There are many exciting events planned for the band this year and students can reap the rewards of actively engaging in College life to make the most of their schooling.

The cost for each lesson is $42 for a 30 minute lesson and instrument hire for certain instruments is $150 per year. Parents and students who wish to continue in the Music Tuition Program in 2019 are to complete an enrollment form and return to Ms Carolyn O’Brien. Forms were provided to all Music Tuition students towards the end of 2018, however if you wish for another copy please contact Carolyn O’Brien:

There are many openings for instruments in 2019 so I wish to invite new students to the program. Year 7 students will commence their lessons in Week 4 after their Camp to ensure a smooth transition into high school. These students and their parents will receive their first timetable in Week 3 after their return from Camp.

The tutors at MCNS for 2019 are: Sam Pellegrino (Guitar), Mark Roulston (Guitar and Bass Guitar), Fiona Keating Piano/Keyboard), Dave Smith (Drums/Percussion), Penny Coucill, Alan Paardekooper (Woodwind), Ben Swatton (Lower Brass and Trumpet), and Tony Gardner (Improvisation, Woodwind and Piano). The tutors are encouraged to communicate with parents about their son’s curriculum, each student’s progress and to establish goals such as the AMEB Exam, eisteddfods and involvement in the College’s Band and Ensemble Program.

Students involved in the Music Tuition Program are reminded to be responsible for recording the time and day of their tuition lesson from the email (College Gmail) sent each Friday before the week of their lesson or from the Music Tuition Notice Board in their College Diary and remember to be punctual to their lesson. Year 7 Music Tuition parents will also receive the weekly timetable via email to assist in the organisation of their son. If a parent with a son in other years wishes to receive the timetable each week via email please contact Carolyn O’Brien to arrange.
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Newman Program

2019 Newman Selective Gifted Education Program

This year is an exciting time for the students and teachers involved in the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program with students being offered gifted learning experiences in Years 7, 8 and 9, continued teacher professional development, and it is our accreditation year.

There are a few big questions which you may have about the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program such as; Why are we offering a gifted program, what is included in the gifted program and how is a student identified to be selected into the program?

The reasons why Marist College North Shore applied to be involved in the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program:
  • Cater for gifted students in both their academic and pastoral needs
  • Provide gifted students a learning environment where they are placed with students of like ability to achieve their potential and for their self efficacy
  • To build the capacity of teachers through relevant and quality professional development aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • To provide quality differentiated learning experiences for gifted and high ability learners
  • Using data to track student growth (and underachievement) and strategically implement pedagogical interventions to enhance the learning of students
  • To invest in the intellectual capital at the College - fostering a community of learners (students, teachers and parents) through enculturation of academic curiosity, rigour and a growth mindset
  • Developing strong home - school partnerships where the student’s academic pathway is a collaborative responsibility between teachers and parents
  • To offer an educational alternative for families where gifted education is provided in a Catholic systemic school in the Marist tradition

What do the students experience in a Newman Selective Gifted Education Classroom?
  • They follow the same curriculum as their peers
  • Learn at a faster pace for curriculum compaction using pre assessment
  • Flexible groupings based on ability
  • Enrichment activities
  • Focus on student interest, choice and voice in negotiating the curriculum with preferred learning style and means of presenting work
  • Authentic real world issues involving big questions, ethics, ambiguities and hypotheticals
  • Delve into open ended questions
  • Problem solving and problem finding
  • Use diverse methods of inquiry to foster independent learning
  • Deep thinking activities
  • Creative and critical thinking activities
  • Develop products which are innovative and original
  • Consultation and collaboration with experts in the field of inquiry
  • Newman Symposium
How is a student selected to be in the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program?
Students are primarily selected based on their potential ability (Giftedness) using Francois Gagne’s definition of giftedness. Giftedness is the students’ potential to achieve at a significant level beyond what might be expected from one’s age peers (Top 10%).
At MCNS we use multiple measures that are both objective and subjective to identify potential giftedness.
Objective measures (tests) identifying the students’ General, Verbal, Non Verbal, Abstract and Quantitative Reasoning ability. We select students who are in the top 10% in these tests:
  • Psychometric tests
  • ACER High Ability Test
  • Allwell Placement Test
  • AGAT
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Careers 2019

The Careers area of the College remains committed to providing opportunities for the boys to enhance their employability skills . As such, there are a number of events which have already been organised for various year groups. This week, letters have been emailed to respective parents outlining the specific details.

Year 12
Responsible Service of Alcohol 12 April or 19 August and The Responsible Conduct of Gaming 19 September

Year 10
Work Experience 18-22 November

Careers Assessment 26 February and Optional Interviews, 29 March

Evet students

Correspondence has also been sent to parents of boys undertaking Evet courses in 2019. Furthermore, new students have issued with organisational material in hard copy. I would ask that you review the information in readiness for the commencement of classes. Classes commence at Southern Cross Vocational College this week. Classes at TAFE campuses commence next week.

Click here for all current Career opportunities.

Nicola Brown
Careers Advisor


Trek for a Cause

Congratulations Matthew Clark from Year 11, Moore 5.

Fitness Centre

The Fitness Centre will reopen to students on Monday 4 February. The fitness centre will be open every morning from 7am and Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. All students will be required to complete a new permission note to attend. Notes will be available from the gym supervisors.

2019 Goal Setting Interviews

On Wednesday 20 February Marist College North Shore is organising Goal Setting interviews for all students in Years 7 - 11. The reason for the Goal Setting Interviews is for improving student learning growth continuing the College’s focus on fostering a growth mindset. The goals are important as they will be reflected on throughout the year in Pastoral Lessons, in meetings with his Homeroom Tutor teacher and House Coordinator, and they are reflected on in your son’s pastoral comment on his school report.

The goals and strategies are both short term as well as long term.  Students and parents need to think about what and how students can improve in certain areas of their school life. There will be Goal Setting preparation for students in Years 8 - 11 during a dedicated pastoral period on Wednesday 13 February. I will take Year 7 through their Preparation during a dedicated period on Friday 15 February after they return from Camp. The focus of the pastoral period will be on how to set realistic SMART goals which are specific and measurable and students will then be asked to build on these initial goal setting at home in consultation with you so that they feel better prepared before the actual Goal Setting day on Wednesday 20 February. The goal setting booklet will be e-mailed home to you just in case your son misplaces his copy.

The Goal Setting interviews will take place from 8.30am to 3.15pm on Wednesday 20 February. It is compulsory for students to attend these interviews in full school uniform and to be accompanied by at least one parent/caregiver. If parents/caregivers are unable to attend due to work commitments, please contact your son’s Homeroom Tutor teacher to ensure they take part in a video or a phone conference call during the time you son is meeting with them.

Students are not required to attend school outside the allocated time of their interview - there are no scheduled classes on the day, however, the Academic Resource Centre will be open throughout the day for students who would like to do private study. Parents/caregivers will be able to use the Sentral Parent Portal to reserve and interview time with your son’s Homeroom Tutor teacher. A letter will be sent home with the Sentral Parent Portal link and further details about the Goal Setting interviews.

Carolyn O’Brien
Director of Diverse Learning