MAC News 3 2020
Dear MAC Community
This has been a busier-than-usual beginning to the year and I want to reassure everyone that all members of the MAC staff are working very hard to ensure that all students will have access to remote learning during the time of school closures.
For the past two weeks we have been working on how we will be able to provide continuity of learning for our students with the inevitable closure of the school. At MAC we have always been ahead of other schools in the use of technology in teaching and learning, so in some senses we have had a head start. All students and staff use Google Suite and this will continue to be the main platform for the delivery of instruction, providing learning resources and tasks as well as the submission of work. Compass will also play a pivotal role. We envisage that students will follow their timetable and scheduled classes and teachers will post lesson plans for each class. Teachers will deliver a combination of virtual classroom instruction via Zoom (a video conferencing platform), independent work, as well as the use of several online educational platforms such as Education Perfect, Mathspace and Edrolo. Mentor teachers will check in with their students weekly and all teachers will communicate their concerns via Compass, as is already their practice, and Heads of House and the Student Wellbeing team will follow up. We will be sending out a range of documents which will clearly set out communication protocols, leaning expectations for students as well as how parents and carers will be able to support their children. In addition we will be seeking consent from parents and carers regarding the use of video conferencing to deliver instruction. This will be done via Compass through the Course Confirmation module. Please regularly check Compass for update and information.
In other news, the School Council has welcomed three new members Justine Johnston (teacher), Alex Langley (student), Angelica Inserra (parent) and welcomes back two returning members Matthew Hammond (parent) and Meg Rawlins (teacher).
In staffing news, Rachel Kane has replaced Monica Ciura in the Vocal Teaching Position. Rachel has a wealth of experience having worked both as a very successful recording artist with several hit songs in the early 2000s, and an educator at both secondary and tertiary levels. Graham Bond is replacing Louisa Xia (Maths) who is commencing maternity leave at the start of the term. Graham has had over 20 years’ experience in Maths education, mostly in New Zealand. He has worked as an assistant principal as well in other leadership positions within schools in New Zealand.
Further in this edition of the MAC News you will find reports on the MAC Open Day, the Student Leadership Retreat and House reports.
If there are any families with Essential Workers who need assistance with care programs over the break, please contact the College as soon as possible. I would like to remind all members of our community that there are people who you can reach out to:
I wish all families of the MAC Community the best over the term break. Stay safe, adhere to the social distancing requirements and please continue to practice protective personal hygiene.
Ms Dani Angelico, Principal
Inside this issue:
- MAC Open Day
- Student Leadership Report
- Year 12 Biology Experiment
- Moonee Valley District Swimming Carnival
- Astronomical Event Cancellation
- Poseidon End of Term 1 Report
- Artemis House Report
- Student Wellbeing – Preparing for Homeschooling
- Reading Resources Available For Home
- Community News and Advertising
MAC Open Day
On Thursday March 12 MAC held our annual Open Day. There was once again huge interest in MAC and our unique approach to teaching and learning with prospective students and families attending in large numbers for the morning, midday and evening sessions that were offered. During the day and evening Erin, Inas, David, Lotte, Haniyah, Sol, Riley, Reeds, Tahlia, Bilhah, Nasteho, Alex, Eleanor, Violet and Ava in their roles as student leaders led and facilitated the school tours which provided prospective students and families a birds eye view of what teaching and learning looks like here at MAC. The evening ran a little differently with the inclusion of the school tour as well as a student panel, staff panel and subject showcase. Again, with the intention of informing attendees about the MAC way of life. The student leaders unsurprisingly performed amazingly in their role fielding questions about their experience being a student here at MAC and informing prospective students and families. One particular student when asked why MAC, they said that they feel like they belong here at MAC, that opportunities are more easily able to be offered and taken because of the small size of the school and also because the teachers and whole school learning community respect and value the role of young people in shaping, creating and influencing MAC’s school community.
A huge thank you to all other students who assisted during the day with special mention to the students who assisted with the student panel, ushering and the running of the subject showcases. Thank you also to all staff who also assisted throughout the day and evening.
Student Leadership Report
Young Leaders in Sport: Vision, Voice and Endeavour 2020
Earlier this term a group of sixteen student leaders attended a sport leadership day at Victoria University to challenge themselves and develop leadership qualities with peers their age from other schools. Here’s what happened on the day from the perspective of the students who attended.
The Young Leaders in Sport Conference at Victoria University was an awesome experience. The day began by taking 45 minutes trying to find the entrance! We then heard an inspiring speech from a former soccer player, talking about leadership and how to overcome your own battles. After that, we discovered how everyone is different and we bring different perspectives to the table which is influenced by our personality traits. We took a short quiz to discover what kind of bird we were. An owl, dove, peacock or eagle, each represented a personality type like introverted or extraverted. But the best was saved for last, we were split up into groups and given a sporting organisation to represent. We were then put into a hypothetical press conference and had to answer questions which covered topics such as sexual assualt, wrongdoing from the media and discrimination towards the LGBTQI+ community to name a few. The day was so enjoyable and I personally took a lot away from it.
Luke Vella, Student Leader
Melbourne Youth Leadership Conference
A group of ten student leaders joined 218 other students from a wide range of schools across Victoria to participate in the Melbourne Youth Leadership Conference. Run by youth for youth, the Melbourne Youth Leadership Conference was designed to inspire, strengthen and empower our future leaders.This one-day event consisted of internationally recognised speakers and team activities, with a focus on four key outcomes the education system misses: Leadership, teamwork, communication, and entrepreneurship.
Students participated in teamwork and communication challenges and got to meet some amazing and inspiring youth leaders. The first was Matt Runnalls a mental health advocate and CEO of mindfulaus. His message was to challenge what the meaning of leadership was. He was able to articulate this through his powerful and moving personal story which drove him to be driven by the mantra ‘If not me, then who; if not now, then when’.
Then we met Wil Massara founder of Youth Leadership Academy Australia. What’s so awesome about this fact is that Wil is only 17. Wil shared his five lessons for youth advocacy and leadership:
- Everyday we have a choice
- My differences are my greatest assets
- My age does not determine my ability to achieve extraordinary things
- The power of One is extremely underestimated
- United individuals create change
Other inspiring guest speakers included Lachie Delchau-Jones who started his own businesses from the age of 14, now as an 18 year old he travels the world to work and as a guest speaker. Siobhan Kellaghan-Tasker who as a teenager experienced a life changing medical condition which shaped her future and inspired her to work as a youth worker and arts advocate for young people in similar situations to her. Lastly we met Will Connolly (better known as Egg Boy) who because an overnight celebrity for egging the Prime Minister. He spoke about how that action propelled him into a new vocation focussing on youth leadership, advocacy and as a public speaker.
The students who attended came away with resources, notes and plenty of motivation to be change agents here at MAC and in their own lives.
Student Leadership Retreat
The 2020 student leadership team held their annual Student Leadership Retreat on Friday 13 March. The team stayed here at MAC for the night. It was an opportunity for the team to report on conferences they’d attended as leaders and progress on projects they had planned for term 1 and the rest of the year. The team were then given time to work in smaller teams to plan out further programs. After a lot of work we had a dinner break then finished the formal part of the night with team building and leadership development activities. It was yet again a great night for the student leaders to get together and have time to collaborate on projects aimed at improving student participation and engagement. A huge thank you to Sophie Dalabiras and Dani Angelico who gave up their Friday night with myself to host the retreat as well as the students who attended and were able to demonstrate personal qualities that demonstrate the amazing leaders that they are.
Kate Stevanovich, Student Leadership
Year 12 Biology Experiment
Biology is a challenging and engaging subject in which students have an opportunity not only to gain knowledge and learn about cutting edge technologies but also to experience what it’s like to be a scientist on their own. As part of the Unit 3 biology outcomes students need to plan, conduct and analyze the results of a scientific investigation. At MAC, students plan their own experiments, on a topic of their choice, within the areas of the study design. This year, students investigated a variety of topics including: activity of liver enzymes, respiration in yeast and photosynthesis in water plants using different light colors. Students learn the theory, experience the hardship of planning a valid experiment and evaluate their own efforts, all of which gives them some insight into what it means to be a scientist.
Miriam Feldsher-Berkovich, Biology teacher
Moonee Valley District Swimming Carnival
On 10 March a wonderfully energetic group of students joined Ms Stephens for the Moonee Valley District Swimming Carnival. The event was held at Queens Park and we were all grateful for the sunshine. MAC were a small team but showed amazing levels of effort and a positive attitude. With a little encouragement and some critical feedback, Jacinta and Marcella’s announcing improved tremendously throughout the morning and I have no doubt they’ll be requested to do such a role in the future. There were numerous place holders in the team however Lola Featherby was our star performer, winning her 50 metre freestyle event.
Astronomical Event Cancellation
All bookings have been refunded through Trybooking. We will put the call out when we know the new date.
Poseidon End of Term 1 Report
A busy, exciting and challenging term 1 has quickly flown by with many Poseidon students achieving success in academic and extra curricula areas.
Since the introduction of the House system at MAC, Poseidon students have demonstrated exceptional positive behaviour earning them and the house valuable points. This term is no exception with our students continuing on that path.
Congratulations to the each of the following students who achieved the most points within their mentor group Inas Adil Ahmed (POA 21 points), Violet Wong (POB 45 points), Lotte Van Hulsen (POC 33 points). Equal point achievement for Sebastian Fielke, Lachlan Janetzki and Isabella Mesiti (POD 21 points) and gain equal point scores by Paula Formosa and Jeremy Pole (POE 24 points). Finally, congratulations to Bilhah Ryan (POD) who gained a total of 57 points this term.
The last weeks of term have no doubt been challenging for staff, students and families. Please stay safe everyone. Remain at home, have some screen time and try some good old fashion communication like talking, playing board games, reading, complete learning tasks and remember wash your hands regularly. There are lots of great craft ideas on line to try out if you have items at home.
Sophie Dalabiras, Head of Poseidon House
Artemis House Report
Preparing for Homeschooling
With the increasing spread of COVID-19, countries around the world are implementing preventative measures. For some it means the closure of schools and a movement towards homeschooling with children transitioning to online lessons.
For parents, this can appear to be a daunting task. However, it does not necessarily mean that the parent is now the teacher. Whilst schools will strive to meet a child’s academic needs, parents and carers will need to play a key role in providing structure and on-going support. Some young people will transition seamlessly, whilst others may struggle. Offering reassurance and being vigilant for signs of anxiety and depression will be essential for adult carers.
Many families may find themselves in uncharted territory, but it will be important to remember to just do your best to balance homeschooling and daily work responsibilities. Although we are living in a time of uncertainty that is particularly unsettling, it will provide an opportunity for families to reflect and spend some quality time together.
If you do find yourself struggling or have any concerns relating to homeschooling, contact the school directly for advice.
Watch the SchoolTV episode about preparing for homeschooling:
Reading Resources Available For Home
Given that the physical library is not accessible to the students for the time being, I am wanting to ensure that students have access to as many reading and research resources as we can while the students are in remote learning. Please see below for the resources and activities that I have arranged for the students while at home. I apologise in advance for the long post and will ensure that it stays in your news feed while the school remains closed.
Eplatform for ebooks and audiobooks
Students now have access to the Wheelers Eplaform for ebooks and audiobooks. When students log in they will be able to browse the shelves for stories. The eplatform gives students access to over 2500 books. Students can borrow the ebook or audiobook for two weeks and students will receive an email from the system to remind them when their book is due so that they can renew it. If they don’t renew it, the book is automatically returned.
Students will be asked to log in when they try to borrow a book. Their login is their Mount Alexander College Google login. Students can put the app on their phone or device so that they can listen to the stories as well.
Find the Eplatform here: https://mountalexandercollege.wheelers.co/
Student book club
I am creating a virtual book club for students soon and would love to know who would like to be involved. Students need to fill out this Google form to let me know if they would like to be in the book club: https://forms.gle/pfQpUe54NHoeZcSk8
Audible have very kindly made some audiobooks free for everyone while schools are closed. You can find the books that are free to listen via: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
Unfortunately students aren’t able to borrow any of the physical books for the time being. Any books that have been issued to students will have their due dates pushed out until school reopens. Students are not able to access the Library Catalogue from home as it is only accessible on the school network.
Study, research and library websites that may be helpful
- State Library of Victoria
- State Libary of Victoria free research databases
- ABC Education
- Ergo (help for research, study and essay skills)
- Studiosity(Study help for students)
- Fuse (Resources for secondary students)
- Moonee Valley Libraries
- Maribyrnong City Libraries
- National Library of Australia
- Children’s Books Council of Australia
- Inside a Dog
- Library Thing
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- World Book Encyclopedia
We have purchased a digital library subscription to The Age which is accessible from home via Compass under the School Favourites (the star on the top menu).
The Guardian is a free reliable news source: https://www.theguardian.com/au
Clickview is a wonderful resource of videos that are entertaining and educational. Students need to use their Mount Alexander College Google details to log in. Within Clickview students will see Libraries, Workspace and Playlists. Within the Libraries, there are folders for every subject, plus a couple of other folders. If there is a movie that students need for a subject, or just one that they think others would also enjoy, please send me an email so that I can add it to the Library. Their teachers will also be requesting videos and movies to be added to the Library and will be asking for the students to access them.
Some other great resources for learning at home:
Please email me (email@example.com) if you need assistance with any of these things.
Meg Dunley, Resource Centre Manager