As we look back over Term 3, there was not one week out of the ten that at MacKillop Catholic College we could say we had “just another week”. As a foundational school, five and a half years into our pioneering journey, our MacKillop community is constantly staging new events, trying new initiatives and celebrating learning in vast and varied ways.
“Creation” is the very essence of what we do at MacKillop! Every day, we set out to develop the hearts, minds and spirits of our students. We continually strive to create an environment where our students feel safe, loved, ready to learn and grow. We are in the business of creating community and connection at every turn. While COVID has placed some limits on our ability to connect with our parent and outside community like we were used to, we continue to find ways to support our students together and they are thriving!
As a new school, we create memories every time we plan and organise an event and especially when we find ways to truly celebrate our students’ learning. During Term 3, there has been a multitude of memory making opportunities!
In the first weeks of Term 3, our Year 6 students were very lucky to go to Camp Patterson for 3 days and two nights. They had the most amazing fun and outdoor adventures. This term we welcomed “Ditto” and the crew from Bravehearts for our younger students, helping them to learn about keeping themselves safe. In Weeks 3 and 4, our primary students participated in creative and clever writing workshops with author, Cameron Steltzer. Every week has brought new fun, new experiences and more growth for students at MacKillop!
In Week 5 our college was abuzz with celebrations for our MacKillop Feast Day. For the life and history of our College, the 2020 Mary MacKillop Feast Day was a truly significant event. Thanks to the wonderful work of our APRE, Ms Lyndal Rick, our college celebrated our first college mass (with communion) together in a beautiful celebration of our school’s namesake. Our school staff band and senior choir made this celebration very special.
Week 6 saw our junior library “Under the Ocean” for Science Week! The whole college was involved in fabulous opportunities for our students across both campuses to have fun and participate in scientific experiences in our new secondary science labs. Learning about science from our secondary students became a big highlight for many of our little people.
In Week 7 we were overwhelmed at the 700 people who visited our College during our “Sticky Beak” Twilight event. The opportunity to showcase our beautiful school, wonderful students and unique programs was a HUGE success and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work of Annmarie Arnold, our Leader of Parent and Community Engagement and her team of helpers. It was such an awesome event for the Cairns community to see how our college is flourishing and a select, point of difference for so many young people and their schooling success. Thanks to our P&F for the hundreds of free sausages cooked during the twilight showcase – it was an absolute winner on the night!
Surf Life Saving came to MacKillop in Week 8 where our students participated in their “Beach to Bush” water safety program and we were reminded of the importance to “swim between the flags”. Our U10 and U12 netballers scored lots of goals at the Marlin Coast Primary School Netball Competition. Our secondary students and select primary students also had the opportunity to challenge themselves and they participated in ICAS testing (International Assessments). Our secondary students have worked hard during these last weeks of term with their assessments and will be looking forward to their reports today!
The making of new memories has continued with gusto towards the very end of term! We had the biggest turn out of students YET for our Walk Safely To School Day which finished with a delicious breakfast at school. Our Prep – Year 4 students enjoyed a very BIG day participating in our MacKillop Games. This was an important occasion to mark this year as for another “first” time, we were able to use our own MacKillop College Oval for our junior students to run their sprints. The first ever Year 7 R U Okay Day was another successful first and important initiative for the wellbeing of our senior students. It was marked with a sea of sunshine yellow dress and some fabulous cooking skills!
Just when you think we could not possibly fit in anymore, the last week of term has been the busiest yet! On Wednesday, our primary students arrived in all manner of brilliant costumes for another BOOK WEEK extravaganza of fun and all things books! Yesterday’s Inter-House Dance Competition was a another unforgettable first for our Year 7 students and teachers. The school spirit and joy on display in their very cool, unique and technically impressive dances was heart swelling to watch! Today’s amazing Senior Athletics Carnival for Years 5,6, and 7 students was the first time our MacKillop students experienced their own school’s Athletic Carnival here on our own MacKillop soil. And finally, last one for the term, we sent some very excited senior primary students off to the Jim Graham Rugby Cup in Innisfail today. What a big finish with so many big first memories for MacKillop!
This creation of great memories and significant milestones in the history of our school, is essential to building and celebrating our unique MacKillop culture and a sense of belonging to our MacKillop family and community. Yesterday we celebrated another key event in MacKillop history – our Stage 3 Official Opening and the announcement of Stage 4 funding (another $11.2 million)!!!! We were blessed to have the Most Reverend Father Neil Muir preside over the opening ceremony and liturgical blessing, and the Honourable Curtis Pitt MP in attendance on behalf of the Qld Government. Their support for our College is exceptional. MacKillop Catholic College is only going to get bigger and better as the best catholic, co-educational P-12 in the far north!
With all that has been shared, Term 3 has truly been a BIG term. The next two week break is perfectly times for students and staff to rest, refresh and rejuvenate for the last term. Term 4 is only a 9 week term – we only have 9 weeks of our academic year to complete!
Wishing all our students, families and staff, a very well-deserved, safe and peaceful break with family and friends. Keep safe, take care of each other and please know that as a member of our MacKillop Community, you are very much appreciated
Happy holidays and God bless,