From the Principal

Coronavirus Information

Lord Jesus

As Lent continues we ask for the power of your Spirit that we may become more thoughtful towards others, more honest with ourselves and more faithful to you. Help us to walk in your presence and grow as the people you want us to be. Amen

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

As the spread of the coronavirus increases, this letter (Click here) is intended to outline for you the current precautionary measures being taken in relation to the management of risk posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Please note that at the time of writing, there are no reported cases of the coronavirus affecting any member of the Marist College North Shore community.

Where to get information

The information regarding coronavirus is changing daily. The latest information from NSW health can be accessed at: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) has set a page on the public website that will include current operational information. This can also be accessed by parents at: https://sydcatholicschools.nsw.edu.au/coronavirus-updates.

Specific information related to schools and early childhood services in NSW can be accessed at: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-schools-and-early-childhood-centres.

The advice on the NSW Health Questions and Answers is very helpful and I encourage you to have a look at their advice.

Decisions as to school closures
Our Leadership Team is putting a plan in place should NSW Health close the school. If this were the case parents and guardians would be alerted by email and by text message. We will be working to ensure online teaching takes place. Our motto is that the school may be closed but learning continues. We are working with our staff to ensure that they have access to an online learning platform such as google classroom to enable the efficient delivery of lessons. Most are currently using such platforms.

Effective immediately, all students should be taking their personal devices home with them each day in the event that the school is deemed non-operational outside of school hours.

Absences
Please inform the College about details of your son’s absence via the school absence line on 9957 5000. If a family elects not to attend school, this will be deemed an unexplained absence. For students who may be asked to remain at home, work can be provided and this will be deemed an explained absence.

Thank you for your support during these uncertain times and I pray that all members of the Marist College North Shore community remain healthy.

Tony Duncan
Principal

From the Assistant Principal

Navigating Adolescence

Navigating Adolescence

Adolescence has always been a difficult time for families but our boys and our families are now navigating adolescence at a time when society aims to publicly bring down people at the first mistake they make. To criticise openly the way boys look and act, blaming it on “I’m entitled to my opinion” and when one’s worth is defined by the piece of paper they receive with their ATAR score. As such, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of students presenting with anxiety, as boys try to navigate their own, their families and society’s perceived expectations of them.

Your son’s worth is not defined by how well he performs academically here at the College. Are we extremely proud of our academic record, yes we are, but at the expense of developing each and every young man’s sense of self here. Absolutely not. The boys’ self-efficacy, their self-belief in their own ability to navigate different situations they will encounter as they move through life, is paramount. It is about developing the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.

We try to offer boys time here to reflect upon themselves and their lives each week through meditation in Religious Education Lessons, prayer and now in our new Pastoral Care programme.

Julie Lythcott-Haims also has some sage advice for parents in her Ted talk, “How to raise successful kids - without over-parenting”

By loading our teenagers with high expectations and micromanaging their lives, parents aren't actually helping. At least, this is how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humour, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children's success via grades and test scores - and suggests two vital things to focus on instead.

How to Raise Successful Kids - without over-parenting

Show more

Faith Formation

Prayer Life of the College


At Marist College North Shore, our students are engaged with prayer in a number of ways. In Tutor Group, your son will start his day with a prayer or reflection. A number of classes will commence with a prayer. At all of our formal gatherings as a community, we start with a prayer. We pause as a community in the middle of the day to join with Catholics from around the world in the Angelus. Why is prayer so important? As a Catholic community, we have a dual moral purpose - our faith and education. In the education sphere, we have clear outcomes, benchmarks, and measures of success. In terms of our faith, we really have only one clear outcome: to make Jesus known and loved - to develop a relationship with God. In recognising that every student’s relationship with God will vary, we always invite them into an opportunity of encounter.

Every two years, our students participate in the ‘Survey of Religious Attitudes and Practices’. Year after year, our students express an interest in exploring their faith but nominate some obstacles in allowing them to engage fully with it. This can include influence from their peers, family and the media. Whatever the reason, our students, given the opportunity and an environment conducive to prayer, they are willing to engage with it. As one student put it, they are ‘thirsting for something to sustain them in life.’ When was the last time you had an opportunity to have an open discussion with your son about his faith and spirituality?


Coordinated by Mr Rulewski, every Friday morning before school, one of our six Houses take charge in leading ‘Friday Morning Prayer’. Every week, the boys focus on a particular theme which is topical - either in society or in the Church. Through scripture, prayers, reflective music and inspirational clips, this prayer time enables our community to pause, to consider life and to reflect upon their relationship with God. It is pleasing to note that attendance at these gatherings is growing.

Every week, we publish images from these and other experiences on our College Instagram and Twitter accounts. If you haven’t had a chance yet, it is worth a look. The handle is @Marist_NthShore.

Anthony Munro
Director of Faith Formation.

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

Bullying - No Way

Bullying at the College

At Marist College, we aim to create a safe and supportive school community for everyone. Parents are an important part of our work to prevent bullying and to respond effectively if it happens. Stopping bullying involves everyone. Parents know their son best and know the best way to tailor communication to their needs. Adapt these tips to what works for you and your son.

If your son talks to you about bullying:

1. Listen calmly and get the full story. Your calm response is important to allow your son to tell you all about the situation. After they’ve told you their story, ask questions to get more details if you need: who, what, where, when. Although you may feel some strong emotions about your son’s experience, try to keep calm to avoid more distress to your son.

2. Reassure your son they are not to blame. Many students blame themselves and this may make them feel even worse. You could say things like, ‘That sounds really hard to deal with. No one should have to put up with that.’ or ‘I’m so glad you told me. You should be able to feel safe at school; that’s not fair at all’.

3. Ask your son what they want to do and what they want you to do. A critical part of your response is to avoid jumping in to solve the problem. While it is natural to want to protect your son, helping them to find their own solution is a better option. It helps them feel they have some power in the situation.

4. Visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au to find some strategies. The website has tips and ideas for different bullying situations. One idea is to practise strategies at home to help your son feel more confident.

5. Contact the school. Your son may be reluctant for you to do this, so discuss the idea and reassure them that the school would want to know and is able to help. Make an appointment to meet with your son’s House Coordinator. Contact the school immediately if you have a concern about your son’s safety.

6. Check-in regularly with your son. Keep the conversation going. It can take time to resolve issues, so check in regularly with your son about their experiences and their feelings. Your ongoing support is important.

If you are looking for support for yourself to deal with a bullying situation, you will find ideas on Bullying. No Way! website for parents. As well, please feel free to contact the College if you would like to discuss any aspect of our approach to preventing bullying.

Brigid Taylor
Assistant Principal

Creative and Performing Arts

Year 12 Excursions 2020

Year 12 Drama students have had a very busy year so far attending theatrical performances at both the Seymour Centre and Stables Theatre.

On Stage

On the night of 10 February 2020, we were fortunate to secure tickets to the 2020 Onstage Program A performance curated by NESA. This night showcases the exemplar performances and projects from the 2019 HSC Drama course.

Students had an opportunity to see skillful performances that made innovative use of dramatic and performance elements. Our boys obtained many ideas and were truly inspired by what they witnessed. 

It was a night of electric energy and enthusiasm for excellence in our subject area.

Our theatre visit served to inform students about the variety of directions they could take in their own performances as well as confirming that the many choices they had made thus far for their own projects were informed and sophisticated.

Family Matters

On March 6 the Year 12 Drama class visited the Stables Theatre at Darlinghurst to see, Family Matters, the last play to be written by Australian playwright, Mr David WIlliamson.

Students are currently studying one of the first plays that David Williamson wrote, The Removalists as part of their Australian Theatrical Traditions in the HSC course.

Our theatre visit coincided with many elder members of the community and our boys were in their element chatting and discussing theatre and generally conducting themselves as fine ambassadors of Marist College North Shore.

The play was incredibly entertaining and thought-provoking about issues that matter in Australia in the current social and political climate. There were many references to enduring themes that Williamson explores and the students found the play highly relevant to their current study.

At the conclusion of the performance, our students had an opportunity to meet the entire cast of Family Matters and chat with them about the performance and their work and careers as actors. It was a wonderful experience and interaction.

We feel particularly blessed that we were able to see an important show that is now sold out. This performance is sure to become a seminal part of Australian Theatrical culture.

Samantha Slattery
Drama Teacher

Co-Curricular

Debating


On Friday 28 February, the senior debating team consisting of Lucas Murphy, Ethan Cook and myself went to Patrician Brothers Blacktown to compete in the State Finals for Debating.

This was a continuation of the 2019 season, in which we won the Metropolitan Competition in Term 3. In this State Final, we faced the winner of the Country Competition - Mount St Patrick’s College Murwillumbah for the State Champion to be decided. After a tough debate on the topic of religious freedom we were thrilled to have won and to now be able to say “Marist College North Shore - State Champions”. Success has many fathers and I’d like to sincerely thank Mr Wells, Ms Lee, Mr Rulewski, Mr Chandler and many others whose time and effort in coaching us has significantly helped us achieve such a feat.

Debating is a great way to learn and practise many skills such as public speaking, teamwork, thinking-on-your-feet and clear communication. I have found many skills learned and improved in debating incredibly helpful in my school captaincy, external employment and day-to-day life. Subsequently, I encourage all boys to have the courage to put their name down for debating this year. You get out of school what you put into it and this is a great way students can get more out of their education here at MCNS and also have a great time while doing so!

Aiden Brennan
Year 12, Kelly 5

CSDA Public Speaking Competition

This week saw the start of the CSDA Public Speaking Competition. Boys from Years 7-12 were selected to represent the College, speaking on not only the serious issues of climate change and social media but, defining characters in Australian pop culture like Kath and Kim. Our boys spoke brilliantly and represented MCNS with pride let alone shining expertise in their selected topic.

Our speakers: Pablo Urizar (Year 7) Owen Chan (Year 7) William Solomon (Year 8) Taras Myronov (Year 9) Taylor Mirabelli (Year 11) Ethan Hrnjak (Year 11) Corban Madden (Year 12)

It was a very difficult decision in each case for the adjudicators, with special mention going to the Senior Marist Oratory champion Corben Madden and last year’s CSDA Junior runner up Taras Myronov for their entertaining and personal contributions to the competition. Despite the boys every effort we had one speaker, Owen Chan of Year 7, proceed to the Zone Final which will be held this Friday at St Patrick’s College, Strathfield.

A big thank you to all of the boys for having the courage to participate and have their voice heard amongst a very talented crowd as well as Ms Lee and Mr Moussallam for their continued support.

Candice Green
English Leader of Learning

Mathematics

Mathematics Homework Club

Mathematics Homework Club for Term 1:  Wednesday 18 March, Tuesday 24 March and Wednesday 1 April 2020 from 3.10 pm - 4.10 pm in the school library. A Mathematics teacher will be there to supervise. 

It is an excellent opportunity to: 

  • polish up any new skills learnt in the last week
  • prepare for any upcoming mathematics exams
  • go through the harder maths questions in a more quiet environment 

Tam Dang
Mathematics Assistant LoL

Solidarity

Project Compassion



Catholic Schools, in particular Marist College, have at the core of our faith the responsibility to help those in need in their local and international community. Marist education is held up by the idea of Family Spirit being one of the qualities of which the College is built. Nothing encapsulates the idea of Family Spirit quite like the Solidarity work of Project Compassion who, for over 50 years, have helped people who are imprisoned by their circumstances to help themselves to the basic dignities and rights owed to every human being.

On Shrove Tuesday, representatives from Marist College were invited to the 2020 launch of Project Compassion - “Go Further Together”. The launch was an opportunity to meet new people and to celebrate the Catholic Faith through song, mass, and activities.

We learnt how Project Compassion impacts the College, parishes, schools throughout Australia, and those living in marginalised communities.  Seeing firsthand the positive change gave a new meaning to Almsgiving especially in this season of Lent. Gaining insight without having to travel overseas to be confronted by the reality of marginalisation; the issues that face these communities are not contained by international borders.

Representatives from Caritas in the Philippines spoke of the positive impact and the barriers that can be overcome through the support of Caritas by schools like Marist College. Giving context and showing the significance of how the small change given in classrooms halfway across the world can help others who need it most, helping them to help themselves to a better life for them, their family and their community.

It was an experience that showcased the importance of charity in the time of Lent for our school. An Idea I hope is shared by the rest of the Marist College North Shore community during this Lenten Season. Collection will take place during Tutor Group for Project Compassion. Please give generously.

Jarvis Hinton
Year 11, Moore 1


School Notices

Uniform Shop

OUT OF STOCK ITEMS

Sport Shorts - sizes 77cm and upwards are currently out of stock and will be available at the beginning of Term 2.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer has been unable to purchase the correct fabric colour. Once stock arrives any outstanding orders will be filled, we apologise for any inconvenience.

White Sport Polo’s – Size 14 to size 20 are also out of stock but should be back in before the end of Term 1.

Junior Blazers

Year 7 students are required to purchase a Blazer in preparation for Term 2. There is some stock available with more on order, please have your son fitted this week so I can order more stock if necessary.

Years 8 – 10 if your son requires a new blazer please do so asap. I have very few second-hand blazers available.

Senior Blazers
Senior blazers will be available before the end of Term 1, House Coordinator will let Year 11 know when they arrive.

June Mitchell
Uniform Shop

Other

Year 7 Study Skills


Year 11 Study Skills Seminar

On Tuesday 10 March Dr Prue Salter from Enhanced Learning Educational Services (www.enhanced-learning.net) conducted a study skills session with Year 11. The session focused on helping students identify changes and improvements they could make to their approach to their studies in order to maximise their results in their final years of school.

The main areas covered with Year 11 were:

  • Moving into a senior mindset.
  • Working effectively at home and dealing with distractions.
  • The importance of independent learning.
  • Managing workload and planning for assessments.
  • Organising resources for school both paper and digital.
  • Steps to effective study for assessments.
  • Increasing the range of study techniques used.
  • How often and how to make study notes.
  • Making study notes - practical guide and examples.


Parents are encouraged to review the handout from the session with students and discuss the main areas identified where changes need to be made. Parents can also find extra study skills tips on the following website: http://studyskillstoptipsparents.com/.

The Year 11 Study Skills Seminar offers students support with developing strong study habits through Study on Thursday afternoon and in the Academic Resource Centre. This support coupled with the seminar strategies presented by Dr Prue Salter should provide the Year 11 students the opportunity to manage the senior school in terms of both achieving their academic potential and for their wellbeing.


Carolyn O’Brien
Director of Diverse Learning

​Year 11 & 12 Parent/Teacher Interviews – Tuesday 7 April 2020

Parent/Teacher Interviews for Years 11 & 12 will be held on Tuesday 7 April from 3:30pm to 7:00pm. The Sentral Booking system will be open from Monday the 23 March at 8:40am till Monday 6 April at 8:40am.

Students are expected to attend interviews with their parents.