From the Principal

Merry Christmas

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

Our staff prayer for Monday morning was our singing Away In A Manger. Listening to the voices at 8.20 am dealing with this most famous of Christmas carols was nothing short of inspiring.

Away in a manger, no crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes
I love Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the night sky
And stay by my side till morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me I pray
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And take us to Heaven to live with Thee there.

Stage 2 Water Restrictions - Help Break the Drought.
St John's Parish School Trangie NSW is inviting all Australians to stop and dance in the workplace, at school, at the supermarket, on the street, at home at the airport, on the waves, at the beach, on the farm. In their words 'Come on let's do it, bust a move and help to #bustthedust'.Just sharing this link so you can all dance on Friday to help break the drought:

Have you got your bucket under the shower yet?

Marist Catholic College North Shore New Uniform
We have now received the first version of the new uniform for the Kindergarten to Year 12 College which is to commence in 2021. We are in the consultation phase of this project. On Tuesday afternoon we invited all interested to view and comment on the proposed uniforms in the College Hall. Some parents have already proposed a number of changes. Please take this opportunity to have a say.

Staff Changes for 2020
Each year we have staff move on for a variety of reasons. This year is no different. It is always difficult to say goodbye to our colleagues/teachers who have been at the College for some period of time.

  • John Boyle will finish up after being on leave for 2019
  • John Bullivant will finish up after being on leave for 2019
  • Jamie Collins will finish up after being on leave for 2019
  • Amanda Conde will be on Maternity leave for 2020
  • Mark Heiss is on leave for 2020
  • Nathan Collis
  • Megan Doyle
  • Siobhan Fahey
  • Katrina Grieve
  • Rachael Johnson
  • Jeff Pratt
  • Peter Sherringham
  • Jo Talwar
  • Maeve Hurley
  • Declan Martin

Some of these teachers have been here for years and have been exemplary teachers. Others, also good teachers, have been here this year only on temporary contracts. We wish each of our colleagues every blessing as they move on to their next opportunity in life.

This is our final High Notes for 2019. I wish each of you every blessing over the Christmas season. I pray our time with family will be rewarding and peaceful!

Tony Duncan

From the Assistant Principal

Holidays and more

HSC Preparation Courses - USyd

The University of Sydney has a wide range of courses running to support students in Years 10 -12. The link below will provide interested parents and students with the courses available.

Centre for Continuing Education


As the long summer break is upon us, there are a number of things parents should be aware of in regards to what is happening socially for their sons. Over the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak on multiple occasions with the North Sydney/Chatswood police around what students in the area are getting involved in when not at school. Parents need to be aware of the following:

Drug use in the area is increasing according to the police. As much as we may try to protect our children from drugs, they are a very real element in many students' lives. Whether they are taking them, selling them or just around them or knowing who is taking and selling them, our boys are exposed to drugs outside of school. Students are well educated on the drugs available to them and the effects of these drugs on their bodies should they take them however, peer pressure is a real thing. In order to protect your sons over the summer period, here are a few things you can do:

  • Talk to your son about drugs honestly
  • If he goes to a party, drugs may be present, drop him off and pick him up. Talk to him about the party before and after - listen, making no judgments unless his safety is at risk.
  • Talk about how to get out of situations:
    • Be available to pick him up at any time when out and let him know you’re available to do this should he find himself in an uncomfortable situation that he needs to get out of quickly.
  • If your son has large amounts of cash and you’re not sure where it has come from, question him about drugs and what he has been doing
  • Monitor his phone use - privacy is earned and should be age-appropriate - parents are entitled to and should know at all times, where your son is and who he is with or communicating with
  • Our boys want boundaries, they sometimes need excuses not to go out, you are that excuse for them -”mum/dad said I can’t go”

Helplines in the holidays:

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline: 13 11 14Kids
Helpline: 1800 55 1800 /

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Creative and Performing Arts

Year 11 Drama

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Sydney Theatre Company

On Tuesday 26 November 2019 the Year 11 Drama class set off to the Roslyn Packer Theatre at Walsh Bay to see the much anticipated black comedy play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Irish playwright, Martin McDonagh.

Prior to the performance students were privileged to meet the director, Paige Rattray, who gave a 45-minute lecture and discussion about the play and McDonagh's body of work, style and message.

Students learnt a great deal from this as it clearly articulated the context of the play, the directorial concept and how all the components of theatre work together to create a stage play.

The play was exciting to watch as students were able to see the fine work of actors; Noni Hazelhurst and Yael Stone supported by Hamish Michael and Shiv Palekar.

Having spent the term studying The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh and Homecoming by Harold Pinter this performance was an opportunity for students to see a black comedy play in action.

Students were able to anaylse the delivery of lines, physicality, characterisation, voice, and accent and how this was all realised on stage through sensitive, controlled, performance. Ultimately students were able to develop an understanding of how this affected the audience and their response. Something that is integral to an understanding of HSC Drama. Your audience is everything.

The set was evocative and the costumes firmly placed the action in the 1990’s Ireland. We laughed, gasped, screamed and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure ride of the characters' emotions of feeling trapped in a small town, still at home at 40 years of age, the torment of being a carer and as well as being cared for and the missed opportunities that are irrevocable. 

The vulnerability of the characters resonated with us and the audience and it was so refreshing to see a play written for women in the middle and at the end of their life and still be incredibly relevant to a young audience.

The day was completed with a half-hour Q & A with the actors which were enlightening and inspirational.

Year 11 and I thoroughly recommend this play. It will be in theatres till 21st December at the Sydney Theatre Company.

Samantha Slattery
Drama Teacher


Rules for Life

What lessons can we learn from studying the great writers of the 20th century?
Henry Truda, Montagne 6 compiled this list.

Vonnegut Rules! (and why you should follow them)

  • Enjoy the present. Stop thinking about that great time you had last weekend with your mates or the fabulous holiday you’re going on in summer, just enjoy the moment you are in right now!
  • Give everybody a fair chance. Every person has the ability to be good regardless of race or culture and in turn deserves the chance to prove that they are good and caring people.
  • Understand that life may not always work in your favor: there will be good and bad moments so take them as they come. Endure the bad ones, don’t give up.
  • Don’t follow the Code of Hammurabi; an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The antidote to the Code of Hammurabi are the words of Jesus Christ, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Live by these words, not those of Hammurabi and you’ll be just fine.
  • Do not promote wars. That is how you ensure future generations will not experience war or think that wars are a normal part of life.
  • Think freely and believe in whatever you choose. Don’t listen to others who pressure you into believing what they believe in, especially if you don’t agree with them.
  • Teach these values to your children and their children. It all starts with you, you are the one to teach these rules and ensure that they continue.

Literacy Enrichment with ATSI students


In the last few weeks, we have been working with Ms. Talwar to improve and extend our literacy skills.

We read stories with different perspectives, discussed Aboriginal context and learnt the skills of reading between and beyond the lines. Making inferences is a skill that we learnt and practiced while doing a Personal project about a text. These sessions have helped us discuss, understand and use sophisticated vocabulary so we can use more meaningful words in our creative writing. The texts we read and learnt about were fun, interesting and engaging.

We would like to thank Ms Talwar for working with us and making these lessons amazing.

Ben Cramp and Josh Cannon
Year 7


Farewell French Food for Year 10 French

On Thursday, we had a Farewell French Lunch with Year 10 students as it was their last lesson together as a class. We had plenty of salade niรงoise to share. It's a salad from the South of France made with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, tuna, anchovies, green beans, and spring onions. It makes for a healthy agreeably colourful plate to enjoy. All ingredients were provided in separate containers to avoid cross food contamination just in case someone was allergic. Bravo to all the boys who actually tried the salad with all its ingredients, as it's usual in France to have a fair go at the food presented. It was all washed down with fruit juice, followed by chocolate crepes and Lindt chocolates. Well done on the boys who behaved so well and exhibited their absolute best table manners, waiting patiently for everyone to be served before actually starting the degustation.

It was a real French style meal with lots of conversations around the table and was, therefore, a social moment to savour. They also all participated in setting up the table and clearing everything, including cleaning up after themselves and resetting the class afterwards. Well done to all of them this year, they have worked above and beyond and we wish them well in the future, especially to those doing Stage 6 French Continuers!

Galiane Marterer
French Teacher


Mind on Maths Challenge

Last Friday a group of Year 7 and Year 8 students attended the Mind on Maths Challenge day at St Ursula's College in Kingsgrove. It was a Mathematics problem-solving day involving teams from various Catholic schools throughout Sydney. During the day the students were presented with a range of different mathematical challenges that they had to solve. Teamwork, problem-solving and also lateral thinking were all skills the boys had to utilise in order to complete the various challenges. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we look forward to hopefully attending next year.

Ben Smuts
Maths Teacher


​ CASPA Enrichment Day

On Tuesday 19 November and Thursday 21 November Year 4 students from 5 primary schools visited our College to participate in a Creative and Performing Arts Enrichment Day.

Students leaders from Year 11: Tom Djani the Arts and Culture Captain and Maxwell Partridge the Montagne House Captain along with students from Year 9 Drama: Riley Brown, Liam Cunneen, Jackson Hales, Talis Kalnins, Noah Klugsberger and Tai Valils Martinez assisted staff from Sydney Catholic School Creative Arts Department by ensuring a very smooth running of the day and maximum participation from all students. 

Our boys were highly engaged with the activities and were exceptional leaders to their younger counterparts who appeared to be having the time of their life.

Reviews from the CASPA and primary staff about our boys was something to be very proud of, they were seen as “...enthusiastic but gentle in nature something rarely seen to that level before with helpers…”

It was duly observed from all staff how impressive our students were and what great ambassadors they were for the school.

I thank all students involved, for taking their participation seriously and empowering our young visitors to be brave enough to Dare to Be involved. You showed this through your actions and incredible dance, drama and music ability.

I acknowledge their commitment to the creative and performing arts and thank them for continuing to support our department in all that we do.

Samantha Slattery
Drama Teacher


Year 9 Ecosystems Field Trip

On Friday 6 December all Year 9 Science classes went on a field trip to Camp Kedron, Ingleside to study bushland ecosystems. Students had the opportunity to collect abiotic field data such as soil moisture, depth and tree height using a variety of instruments including pH kits and moisture meters. Students also collected data about the animals living in the area, including a leaf litter study in which ants, mites and beetles were identified. As well as an analysis of the quality of the water, in which students collected data about turbidity, pH and the animals living in the water. Students caught a variety of water creatures using nets and had the opportunity to hold a large crustacean. 

“I enjoyed catching crayfish and catching big water spiders.” Guillermo Castro

Anna Fsadni
Science teacher


Christmas Appeal

Thank you for all your donations to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. The College and the local Vinnies Conference is very appreciative of your efforts. Attached is a letter from the Conference President explaining a little bit about where the donations go and how important your charitable support is.

Have a very blessed Christmas.


DISA - A look at learning at MCNS

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Over the past 3 years the College has worked with the University of Southern Queensland on our Vision for Learning and Pedagogical Principles - Dare to Be: Challenged, Relational, Engaged, Deep Thinkers. You would be aware of this and may have read articles in High Notes and heard your son and teachers speak of it.

You can read these articles under ‘Teaching and Learning’ in these editions

March - Challenged
April - Relational
May - Engaged
June - Deep Thinkers

This survey has already been undertaken by your sons and by his teachers. We value parent input and work hard to maintain our standing in the community. If you have not already, could you please complete the survey? The results of this survey will be compared to a similar survey completed by students, staff, and parents in 2016.

This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Friday, December 13. I will share the results early next term with parents, teachers, and students in the form of a College Report Card.

I appreciate that parents are busy. This survey will be very helpful to the College.

Thanks and best wishes for Christmas.


Mark Heiss
Director of Teaching and Learning

2019 Award Recipients

Congratulations to all the students who received an award at the 7-11 Presentation Day. This was a lovely way to finish the schooling year for 2019 and to also farewell staff who will not be returning in 2020.

Year 7 Award Recipients

Year 8 Award Recipients

Year 9 Award Recipients

Year 10 Award Recipients

Year 11 Award Recipients