From the Principal

Lent and more

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends

Final weeks of Lent
The words on Ash Wednesday were ‘Remember that you are dust and unto dust, you will return’ and ‘Turn away from sin and remain faithful to the Gospels. The season of Lent is at its heart a time of considering what is important in life and living. If we are to live out our Christian goals in life we need to reflect on the essential message of Jesus in the Gospels.

These Gospel messages are of loving neighbour and of being aware of God in our lives. I think that life is very complicated at times and yet underlying our lives are very simple authentic values.

Last week I got to see first hand some of the simple things in life. One of our Year 9 students suffered a massive head injury and was on life support. I visited him and his father the day after he was removed from life support. We had 24 hours to wonder if he would survive. Amazing support is given by the trauma unit. The young man greeted me and had enough presence and awareness to know that he was fortunate to be here. He is making a wonderful recovery. What do we value as parents? What is there at the heart of life that makes us stop and take stock? Charlie’s parents were grateful to the school and some kind parents who helped in very practical ways, such as preparing and delivering meals for the family so that they could concentrate on Charlie's recovery.
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From the Assistant Principal

Message from Assistant Principal

If your son is absent from school a parent must contact the College on the morning of the absence. On returning to school a signed note or doctor’s certificate is required depending on the reason for the absence.

Where an absence is known in advance, parents should contact the House Coordinator a minimum two days prior to the known absence. If your son has a last minute appointment a slip in the back of your son’s diary should be completed and signed by you. Your son should then have it signed by his House Coordinator that morning. Before leaving the College, students are to present their diary at the front Office and have their leave recorded. Appointments at all times should be made outside of school hours where possible.

Dropping items off
Parents should refrain from dropping items such as lunches and PE kits off at school when their son has forgotten these. It is important that when the boys reach high school that they progressively take responsibility for organising themselves. Yes, if they forget their lunch they may be hungry one day, but they won’t do it again – this is a life lesson. Yes, they may get a 20 minute detention for forgetting their uniform but they won’t do it again – this is a life lesson. It is important that we as parents don’t protect our sons from small consequences, life is about learning from our mistakes and growing from there. We take care of your sons holistically here and we take seriously our part in preparing your sons for a world outside of school. Actions have consequences – whether positive or negative and are a part of this – we as adults all live in a world where if we forget our lunch and don’t have money, we just don’t eat till we get home or we find another way to address our need i.e. asking someone to borrow some money. If your son forgets something he needs to learn to problem solve this, and he has many options at school – speaking to his House Coordinator is one of those options.

Travelling to and from school
It is becoming a daily occurrence that the College is receiving complaints about the way some boys conduct themselves on public transport. At all times, our young men must conduct themselves with dignity and respect for both themselves and those around them. They should stand or offer their seat to the public, their bags should not be on their backs whilst on a bus or train and they should not be shouting, screaming, hitting or kicking each other. The boys are easily identifiable in their uniform and with the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones and cameras, including CCTV the boys are always seen. 

Please discuss with your sons the appropriate way to travel on public transport, as mentioned above, this is another life lesson – there is an appropriate way to act in different circumstances and on public transport they must all behave with an awareness of those around them.

Term 2 begins in a few weeks and all boys are expected in their winter uniform – long pants and wearing their blazer to and from school. All boys are required to have a haircut over the break and return to school in the correct uniform. All uniform requirements, including the College’s policy on haircuts is in the diary. Please be aware that any young man who returns to school on the first day of Term 2 (29 April) with hair that is unsuitable – too long – will be sent home to obtain a haircut and will then be required to return to school.
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Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

Year 9 Camp

Year 9 was very different from what I expected. Being chucked in the deep end, after the rather glamorous style of camping in Year 7, this years camp was challenging.

No more cabins and stylised activities. It would be tent sleeping and some of the hardest hurdles I’ve ever had to endure. Immediately after arriving, it became apparent that nothing would be easy on this camp. Packing all my belongings into a rucksack, the weight on my back was unbearable.

However, would I be able to carry this burden standing up, let alone hike and trek with me giving the equivalent of a bowling ball a piggyback ride!?

But soon I got used to this new challenge and adapted. Getting right into the heart of the action, we began to hike for what seemed to be kilometres on end. Up the mountain, down the mountain, up the mountain, again and again. No pathway, no street, just following your instructor hoping the end was near.

In case of reference, I was in the second slowest group, which means that if this was a challenge, I share my condolences to those who had to hike 27 km over two whole days! As much as this was a challenge, we also had so many great experiences at our campgrounds.

We got to cook our own food in an MKR themed contest (which my team won), endure a treetop high ropes course, where your balance is tested and fears challenged (for those who do not like heights). Milk crates were hilariously funny, with teams stacking crates on top of each other to allow one to climb to great heights.

It was all a lot of fun and allowed me to bond with both my friends and even those who I had never even talked to before.

Canoeing was… interesting. Up against the tide, groups had to row their way to freedom, with a little break resulting in your canoe going backtracking metres upon metres. I had never been in a canoe before, so this was one of my hardest tasks to tackle.

I  realised the true meaning of Year 9 camp. You may have fun and get to know new people, but you already did that in Year 7. This camp is about getting out of your comfort zone and learning to not only survive but thrive in these sorts of situations. 

So often did I want to throw in the towel, give and go home, but that would’ve been my biggest regret. So to those who are in Year 7 and 8 right now, from my honest word to you, look forward to this experience as you will look back fondly at what you have accomplished, and realise that you are far stronger than what you believe.

Tai Valilis-Martinez
Year 9, Montagne 5

Creative and Performing Arts

Every Brilliant Thing - Review

On Wednesday 27 March Year 12 Drama students attended Belvoir Street Theatre to see the show Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan starring Steve Rodgers.

A one-man show, our students were able to see, first hand, how an actor performs for over an hour to take an audience on an emotional journey into an imaginary world. Students were asked to observe how the actor controls focus, tension, timing and develops character and relationship on stage to create an engaging performance.

This excursion was an opportunity to assist the student in the development of their own 8 minute individual HSC performances. My hope is they will be informed by what they saw and learned.  The play examined, mental illness and suicide and particularly its impact on society, communities, families, children and how the press deals with and report it.

The narrator, who begins as a young 7 year old child, devises a list of the ‘brilliant things’ that make life worth living. Things like; ice cream, staying up late, the colour yellow, records…..the list goes on to equal a million brilliant things. A joyful play, it resonated with hope and happiness for students and was a timely reminder of all the wonderful things we experience and have yet to experience in our life.

I thank Year 12 for their perceptive insights and critical appraisal of the play. It was a joy to have this theatrical experience with them.

Samantha Slattery

Drama Teacher


Marching Band Information



The College Marching Band is looking forward to two upcoming performances.

New band members including Year 7 Musicians will need to ensure they have the College Blazer and Long Trousers for these events. The College uniform shop is open on Wednesdays.  Please contact Mrs. June Mitchell if you need to purchase these items.

The College Senior Concert Band has been invited to march in the Grand Parade at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Wednesday 15 April 2019. The Band will perform at 11.00am and 1.30pm leading the Parade for a thirty-minute spot. 
Details are as follows:

Transport will be provided to and from the venue.  Buses will depart school at 8.00am, arriving at Homebush at 9.30am.  Students will leave Homebush at 3.00pm, returning to the College at 4.00pm.  Parents are welcome to collect their sons from the Show Pick-Up point and enjoy a family evening at the Show from 4.00pm if they wish.

Students are to wear full school uniform with long trousers. Boys will march in their school blazer with the College’s crested satin marching sash. This is the marching uniform for the College Band.

The Band will form in the Marching Parade set-up area at 10.00am for our 10.30am performance and 1.00pm for our 1.30pm performance.

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Term 1 Week 10

Please click here for all up to date information regarding Careers.

Nicola Brown
Careers Advisor

University Visits and Excursions


Thank you to those students who have returned the permission slips and payment for the RSA and RCG courses. The only availability is now for RSA group 2, which will be delivered in August.

RSA group 1 students are reminded to return the student enrollment form to me this week, please.

University Visits to the College
Last Thursday we heard from The University of Technology, Sydney. It was pleasing to see boys in attendance who were interested in IT, technology, engineering, communication, education, and business courses. UTS has been a popular Tertiary institution for our Marist boys over the last 5 years. They are drawn to UTS’s commitment to job-ready graduates who are well practiced in the key employability skills of collaboration, innovation, and enterprise.

This Thursday, The University of Sydney will be presenting. USYD is continuing to undergo a dramatic transformation in its course offerings and structures to broaden student experience whilst maintaining a depth of knowledge... I encourage all students in Years 11 and 12 to attend the information session and be informed about such exciting changes.

Nicola Brown
Careers Advisor

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Lunch with Trent Zimmerman

Immersion Dinner

The College's annual Immersion Fundraising Dinner is only a month or so away. It's a great evening that brings people together to support communities that we visit when on Immersion. There's a 3-course meal, silent auction, licensed bar, and more. You don't have to have a son on Immersion; just a sense of adventure. Why not get a table of friends together and come along?

Community Notices

Easter Services


Kid's Lit Quiz

Last Friday night students from both Year 7 and 8 travelled to St Catherine’s, Waverly to compete in The Kid’s Lit Quiz, an international literature competition for students aged 10-13 years. We were fortunate enough to be able to field two teams. Team 1 comprised of Charlie Williams, Oscar Watson, Taras Myronov and Andrew Johnston, while Team 2 had Zak O’Hara, Francesco Ranieri, Rhys Neyle and Owen O’Carroll.

Team 2 won the first round while Team 1 won the second round and we continued to lead by 10-15 points for the next 6 rounds. Individual students from both teams also won other prizes on the night. We went into the final two rounds very confident and both teams still answered questions well, however, the 'riddle' round let us down. We ended up coming second by half a mark and third by one mark.

I would like to congratulate all the students who displayed incredible collaboration, knowledge and above all an extraordinary passion for reading literature.

Well done gentlemen, already looking forward to next year.

Tracey Dunne
Academic Resource Leader

Dare To Be - Relational

This is the second edition of “The Language of our Principles". This week we will look at the concept of Dare To Be: Relational.

The idea of being relational in learning is important to teachers and your son as relationships reflect:
  • Our charism - Champagnat (family spirit, in the way of Mary, presence) non-judgmental environment, empowering all to learn
  • Home school partnerships - collaborating with families for student’s learning needs
  • Positive impact - the relationship being integral in achieving well being
  • Learning being social - it is through relationships where confidence, trust and respect are developed in learning.

So, at school, your son might hear his teachers say

So, learn with the person next to you
What feedback can you give to another student?
Show me what you’re struggling with
I understand what you are saying. How could you word it differently?
Good morning/good afternoon, goodbye
I’m listening to you
What interests you?
Think, pair, share
Two stars and a wish (2 things that went well and one improvement)
What mark would you give the person next to you?
Teach the person next to you
Discuss with the people around you
In groups of 4-5 explore, questions or the content we are looking at
Assist someone by teaching a classmate what you learned
As a group, come up with…
What did you learn from another student today?
What could we improve on?
Working with a partner…
Share your ideas with one another…
What did other people on your table think?
Could you teach that skill to the person next to you?
Connecting through common interests
Consider improvements in processes used eg. investigation allowing each student to voice opinions, have a voice
Are we all on the same page?
Need to work as a team - if you’re not helping, you’re hindering

I encourage you to use this kind of language with your son at home and see if he draws the link to the school. Working together in relationships will develop learning and faith in our young men. I wonder if he will say “Mrs so and so says that too!” or “You sound like one of my teachers!” I hope that this is the case.

Mark Heiss

NSW Rugby Referees

Jack Jones, Year 12 Montagne 4, has been successful in his application for a Rugby AU School Student Scholarship for Match Officials (SSS) for 2019. This national program is designed to assist talent identified referees to achieve their potential, and encourage them to continue refereeing once they leave school. Jack will be one of 14, Year 12 students from NSW who were selected to participate.

Congratulations Jack on your achievement.

Year 8 and Year 9 Study Skills

On Wednesday 27 March, Year 8 and Year 9 students participated in a Study Skills Pastoral Care lesson designed to support his home study routine and organisational skills. The College has a high priority to foster strong home-school partnerships to help students and families with the students’ academic journey and pastoral wellbeing. 

Teachers mentored students to assist their organisation skills and effective study skill strategies for their academic self-efficacy and their wellbeing. The Study Skills Pastoral Care lesson is in alignment with the recent Goal Setting Day which was on Wednesday 20 February as the lesson was aimed to facilitate practical advice and strategies to help the students to achieve their academic goals.

The students were guided by a teacher to work through a Study Skills Booklet with topics and activities including:

  • Growth Mindset Strategies
  • Revising Goals and Strategies for 2019
  • Organisation Strategies
  • School Diary Organisation Strategies
  • Managing School Work, Assignments, Tests and Examinations
  • Where Help Available At School
  • Year 9 SWOT Analysis
To help develop students’ work habits and offer a quiet space for homework and assignment work, the Academic Resource Centre is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 3.15 - 4.30pm. We encourage all students to take advantage of this resource to help them achieve their goals for 2019.

Carolyn O’Brien
Director of Diverse Learning

MCC Squash 2019

We entered the MCC Squash competition this year with a brand-new team – only one member of this year’s team (Captain Jack O’Brien) played in the 2018 team. We made up for the inexperience with a very positive attitude and a great desire to learn.

Despite a comparatively short preparation time, the boys started the day with a good understanding of what they needed to do. The game plan was simple but it required every team member to play to the best of their ability.

I am very pleased to report that, by the very closest of margins, Marist College North Shore successfully defended the MCC Squash premiership: 1690 points to 1676 points.

Marcellin College Randwick really challenged us on the day and we entered the final round of games knowing that the only way to guarantee a victory was to achieve maximum points in every game. And this they did!

All members of the team can be very proud of how they represented the College – their sportsmanship throughout the day was exemplary.

Since 2000 Marist North Shore have now won 19 of the past 20 premierships. Well done boys!

Tony McDonnell
Squash Coordinator

Study Skills