Tuesday 19 May 2020 

Students return to school 

As students return they show they like being back. Some hug others inappropriately, many get too close to each other as they talk and all present with a warm, happy smile and acknowledgement. We feel the same way, but we keep our distance. 

The feature in Saturday’s press on the death of Mike Saclier is salutary. Mike did everything right, yet he passed away due to COVID-19 complications. He was 82. Our focus needs to be to avoid getting infected and to not spread COVID-19 as all students come back to school. Families, students and teachers focus must be on personal hygiene, social distancing and staying at home if we have symptoms. Gold Coast Health’s advice to BCE Principals included that we must discourage ‘presenteeism’—stoic attendance and determination to work through minor symptoms—and encourage students and staff to stay home if they have symptoms or need Panadol to get started for the day. 

Our focus at school is to: 

  • Heighten awareness of personal hygiene 
  • Encourage caution in deciding to come to school each day 
  • Establish high personal standards in each person for: 
    Regular hand washing/sanitizing 
    Covering our coughing and sneezing 
    Maintaining social distancing protocols# 

(#1.5m generally, with students in class to remain seated at their desks, thoughtful and patient when entering/leaving, at lockers or in stairways/corrridors.) 

Mike Saclier was 82, had a number of medical conditions and was likely to have serious complications with COVID-19. We don’t know who in our community might also be vulnerable to serious complications. Our responsibility is to love our neighbour, keep our distance and maintain the high standard asked as we care for each other. 

Assessment and Reporting 

We want students to be reassured that teachers and Heads of Department – English, Maths, Science etc—are carefully monitoring student work and assessment through this year. Students and parents may feel that student results are only confirmed by the formal assignment or exam. However, Teachers and Heads of Department see results emerging during learning processes. 

Teachers and Heads of Department monitor for assessment results that 'don’t ‘fit’ what they know the student has shown previously. They may use past assessment, past classwork or homework where recent assessment results ‘don’t fit’. Accountability for reporting results is through the Head of Department, Assistant Principal Curriculum and the Principal. This is to ensure no disadvantage to students as they learn and progress. 

As we move to the end of Semester 1, we will teach and assess students through to 26 June. End Semester 1 Reports will be published via the Parent Portal by 28 July. Delaying the reporting process allows students additional time as they adjust for the disruption of COVID-19. We want to do the right thing for each student. 

Enrolments 2021 & 2022 

Processes for 2021 enrolments have been ongoing and a waiting list has been necessary as we move to interviews for current applications. It is imperative that families of our Catholic feeder schools immediately submit applications for Year 7 in 2021. 

Enrolments for 2022 are also strong. Hopefully, enrolment interviews will be scheduled for later this term. These will significantly focus on Year 7 2022.

Parent Concerns 

Throughout the period of Alternative Learning Arrangements, we have encouraged parents to use where there are concerns. We are also conscious that the usual Term 2 Parent/Teacher Interviews did not proceed. 

It is important that parents are able to seek and obtain assistance for their concerns. These are re-directed to the Assistant Principals for Curriculum—Mrs Katrina Nicholson and Mr Peter Shaw—or more directly to the relevant Heads of Department or Heads of Year. We are considering options for Parent/Teacher Interviews, should these be possible for Term 3. In the meantime, we want parents to use This enables parents’ concerns to be addressed and provides Senior Admin with a perspective on parent concerns generally. 

Thank you all for your ongoing support and understanding. 

Chris Noonan


Calendar Dates

Friday 26 June - Last Day Term 2

Religious Life of the School

It was welcome back to school for Years 11 and 12 on Monday last but even though we carry on with normal things like timetables and class, things are not as they were and we all pray for a time when we might see something of what it used to be in the near future.

This week is Laudato Si Week marks the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’s encyclical on caring for the earth our common home.

In inviting us to mark this important anniversary, Pope Francis asks: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who will come after us, to children who are growing up?” He names the urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis as a global challenge. Pope Francis concludes, saying, “The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue. Let’s take care of Creation, a gift of our good creator God”

More information is available at this link. The month of May is dedicated to Mary the Mother of Jesus. Students have been invited to post images of scripture stories related to those of the mysteries of the Rosary onto PADLET and to make their own prayer to go with these. They will pray a decade of the Rosary in PC and the posts will be used as a prayer focus.  It is also hoped that familiarity with the Marian prayers will be enhanced in these days as well.

 Dolores Maitland

Mother's Day

This year to commemorate Mother’s Day, we at Marymount College decided to honour our mothers and others in a maternal role in a novel way. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the traditional annual activities could not be carried out, instead, we tried something different. We put up a Padlet and invited staff and students to post their greetings to their respective mothers.

Going from the response, it was well-received with around 50 tributes posted on the Padlet. Some added pictures of beautiful flower bouquets which added life and colour to the Padlet. 

Mothers are and will always be special to everyone not so much for what they do but just for who they are. In the words of Rudyard Kipling ‘, God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Each one has their own unique experience of their mothers' unconditional love expressed in song, dance, movies, stories, anecdotes etc down the ages. The Padlet was just another expression of that long list. Thanks, Marymount for your active contributions and participation making this Mother’s Day, 2020.

Dolores Maitland & Edwin Pereira
APRE and Campus Minister


In the event that students need to leave school early please see the College policy below. We will not use the public announcement system to call into classrooms and disrupt learning to call students out of class.

 Marymount College Procedure for Early Departure:

  • Bring a letter from your parent/guardian explaining why you need to leave early
  • Have your Head of Year/Assistant Head of Year sign the letter during PC
  • Advise the class teacher that you will need to leave early and show them your note
  • Immediately prior to departure report to SAO. Hand in your note and sign out using the ALLE attendance computers

Parents should not arrive to school without prior warning to collect their children. Classes will not be disrupted by the use of the intercom system. Parents will need to wait until there is a break in classes.​

Geoff Browne
Deputy Principal

Student Voice

BCE Student Voice is launching a Digital Art competition. The winning work of art will be used in all Student Voice – Festival of Ideas 2020 promotional material and resources.

The theme for Student Voice this year is PARTNERSHIPS IN ACTION.  Applications close midnight Friday 12 June 2020.
Details on how to enter are located in the SWAY. For further information about Student Voice please visit the BCE Student Voice Webpage.

Non-State Schools Student Travel Rebates

Bus Fare Assistance
•    Does your child attend a school outside the Brisbane City Council boundary?
•    Does your family spend more than $25/week* on fares to and from school (* $20/week if you hold a concession card)?
•    Does your child travel on a publicly available service not owned or associated with the school?
Students With Disability

  • Does your child have a verified disability that requires transport assistance to and from school? 
  • Has your school’s learning support teacher assessed your child’s travel capability rating as ‘semi-independent’ or more dependent?
Visit for further information or to apply. Late applications cannot be accepted after 31 May.

Vivian Savage
Assistant Principal Pastoral

Year 11

A good start back

We were pleased with the presentation and attendance of our Year 11 students as they returned last Monday. It was wonderful to see their smiling faces and that they had taken the time to present well for school.
As we begin Week 5 cobwebs for adjusting back to the school routine need to be gone. Being flexible has been a challenge that everyone has had to face. It is timely that our pastoral program is focusing on resilience. Each Thursday during the pastoral lesson, the students are working through five online modules, provided by the Blackdog Institute, on Resilience Awareness and Skills.
While there are trials and difficulties in adapting to being back at school amidst a pandemic, we have all learnt new skills. Many students have developed more independent thinking and most parents are more aware of their child’s learning style and the curriculum. In some respect, Covid19 has presented us with new opportunities. However, it was clearly evident by the abundant chatter and smiles that teachers and students were pleased to be back in the classroom.

Completion of Unit 1
Year 11 will be completing their first unit of work during this fortnight. We wish them well with assessment and exams. The majority of assessment is scheduled during normal class time and learning for Year 11 will continue until the end of the term. There is no exam block. Most subjects will begin new work, Unit 2, in Week 7.

Subject Changes
There will be a window of opportunity for students to change subjects. This will be from Week 7 for General Subjects and the end of the Semester for Applied Subjects. Students should collect a form from SAO.
Elevate Education will be running a third and final free webinar titled Independent Learning and Smart Study at 6:00pm on Thursday 28 May.  It is aimed at parents who are looking to help their child study smart. If this is of interest follow the hyperlink above.
During the Webinar, Elevate discusses the value of using a weekly planner. A link to a weekly planner template is access our weekly planner template here.
Lastly, students have been asked to address the following:
  • Girls – Skirt length, no shorter than 10cm above the knee. Students will be given uniform detention in the first instance. If it is not corrected, they will be asked to stay home until it is.
  • Prompt arrival time – to College and class.
  • Giving 100% in the classroom
Cathy Cooper & Nigel Ward
Head and Assistant Head of Year 11

Year 10

Congratulations to all Year 10 Students for working hard during the Online Learning Programme during the last 4 weeks.
We have received some feedback from students which is listed below on what they thought so far during this time.
  • The teachers are doing an amazing job during this difficult time being as supportive and helpful as much as they can. Teachers make sure we aren’t put under too much pressure.
  • I think that the teachers have been amazing through this hard time, but I feel that a lot of my teachers don’t realise how much work they give us.
  • I like how I don’t have to wear my uniform for online school, and that teams is very easy to use and not difficult to understand.
  • MOODLE page is set out in a good format which makes it easier to find resources.
  • Emails at the start of the week allow us to know what we have to complete for that week.
  • The teachers are doing really well at setting work for me to do so that I always have something to do at home school.
It will be great when we have all of Year 10 back in a few weeks as we move towards getting organised for SET PLANS for subject selection in Term 3 for the transition into Year 11 and 12.
This is a very important time as we prepare students for different pathways in the Senior School and beyond.
Please remember to wear the correct uniform, Girls Hair tied back, Boys hair above the collar and no extreme styles, have your hat when you all return.

Kevin Cornor & Belinda Faulks
Head and Assistant Head of Year 10

Year 9

As Heads of Year 9, we are so excited at the prospect of having all Year 9 students back at school in Week 6. Students have continued to work hard, and many are producing work that they should be very proud of.
Both the PC classes and religion classes have been undertaking some wonderful work over the past few weeks – proving to us all that the world really is a wonderful place.
Random acts of kindness

This term, Year 9 Religion classes have been learning about charisms and how these gifts of the Holy Spirit can be used to help others. Charisms such as generosity, hospitality, music and service can be used to show others that they are valued and loved. Teachers and students discussed how this time of change and uncertainty can provide an opportunity for us all to think about others. The students were invited to choose a charism and complete an act of kindness for a family member, friend, neighbour or stranger. This was to be done – by the student - without telling the recipient why they were doing it.

Some students chose to give money to the homeless; clean the house for their parents; walk the neighbour’s dog or cook their family a meal. All students who took part said that it was a worthwhile experience as it made them see how important it is to take time to care for others.
Here are some examples of students reflecting on their acts of kindness:

I cleaned up the house with my older brother and hung out and folded the washing. This charism helped my mum because she usually cleans and when she gets home, she doesn’t have to clean.
  • In order to brighten my grandparent’s week, I knew that I had to do something that could allow them to see our faces, hear our voices and witness how much we love and miss them.
  • Because all you see on the internet is about COVID-19, I wanted to bring some happiness into the mix.
A number of students baked or cooked a meal for their family. Below are some pictures that students sent to their teachers.
Pastoral Class

Year 9 Pastoral teachers have done an excellent job of checking in on students as well as thinking of fun ways to give the students a bit of downtime during pastoral class. The baby photo competition and the ‘guess the student’ quiz has provided many laughs. Ms Nairn’s 9KG pastoral class recently met online – in disguise.
I know that all teachers are missing the students and are very much looking forward to having them seated in front of them. We continue to keep all students and their families in our prayers.

Nicky Browne & Matt Geyer
Head and Assistant Head of Year 9

Year 8

What does transition back to school look like for Year 8 students?

Year 8 students have been applying themselves to the best of their ability with their online learning, over the past five weeks. Adapting to change, where their classroom involves using multiple programs like Teams, Outlook, Moodle and One note has been the norm but not for much longer. Next Monday is an exciting time for Marymount College, as we are getting prepared to have all of our students return on the 25 May. A few strategies to assist students with the transition back to school could be:

The importance of getting back into a routine
  • Going to bed earlier, so you are able to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep
  • Limitations on phones, laptops and gaming devices
  • Preparing your uniform, the night before, normal uniform expectations apply, including the sports jacket only to be worn on Thursdays
  • Sports uniform is only permitted on Thursdays or HPE practical lessons, but students wear the College day uniform to and from school.
  • Charge your laptop, as you will not have your charger in class
  • No screen time (blue light) at least 30 minutes before sleep so your body is able to prepare for sleep
  • Packing your bag with your schoolbooks, pencil case and water bottle
  • Finally, having a conversation with your parents/guardians if you have any concerns
Is your child spending too much time gaming?

With the recent Covid-19 restrictions of staying home more, it has meant that some students have been connecting with friends more with online gaming. Connecting with others, talking about a strategy to complete a level is great for problem-solving and enjoyable. However, with students going back to school and getting up early it is important to have limitations on gaming. There is no magic number of hours, but students may be spending too much time playing games if their gaming starts to have negative impacts on them or your family. 

Look out for signs such as:
  • Less interest in social activities like meeting friends or playing sport
  • Not doing so well at school  
  • Tiredness, sleep disturbance, headaches or eye strain 
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Reduced personal hygiene
  • Obsession with particular websites or games
  • Anger when being asked to take a break from online activity, or appearing anxious or irritable when away from the computer
  • Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
In some cases, setting firm limits as a family may be enough to help address too much gaming. If you have any further questions and queries Peter and I are always here to support, as is our amazing counselling team we are only a phone call away.

Peter Carroll & Hannah Richardson
Head and Assistant Head of Year 8


Senior Curriculum

We have continued to work on transitioning Senior students back into fact-to-face learning and continuing with completion of General Subject units.

Year 12

Students are completing Unit 3 and moving into Unit 4 work; with one of the three Internal Assessment (IAs) tasks dropped. In nearly all cases this is the IA3 from the syllabus document. External Exams for Year 12 General subjects commence on Monday 26 October 2020.

Year 11

General subjects will conclude at the end of Week 6 and Unit 2 will commence in Week 7. Applied and VET subjects continue until the end of the Semester.

Special Consideration

With our attention moving increasingly towards the end of Year 12 External exams, it is timely to make note of special considerations which individuals may need to apply for.

There is a range of conditions which might need to be considered, such as colour blindness, or a medical condition whereby medication is required to be taken during the timing of an exam. We already have a number of students who have successfully applied for Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments (AARA) from the QCAA. Further details on AARA.
Peter Shaw
Assistant Principal Senior Curriculum

Junior Curriculum

Year 8 Semester 2 subject selection

This week Year 8 will start the process of choosing two electives to study in Semester 2.
  • Tuesday 19/5 a booklet detailing subjects on offer will be emailed to parents and students to peruse
  • Thursday 21/5 during period 2 pastoral lesson, I will be online with Year 8 students to explain the subjects and how they will use the online Subject Selection program
This information will also be emailed to parents.  Once students select their subjects this information will be used to create the classes for Semester 2.
Return of Year 7-10

As we come to the last week of online learning for Year 7 to 10, I encourage students to continue logging on to their lessons and persevere to the end of the week. 

We understand online learning has been challenging for some students and fatigue may be setting in. With the return to school, we will continue scheduled teaching and assessment.  For students who have kept up to date with the curriculum online, this should be an easy transition, but for those who have struggled with online learning for various reasons, they will need to communicate with their teachers so we can ensure they receive the assistance required.

Katrina Nicholson
Assistant Principal Junior Curriculum

Library and Resource Centre

Last week the College welcomed back both staff and Year 11 and 12s.  The Seniors have settled into school life easily enough, though some seem to forget about the social distancing rules within the Library  - please remind them!   It’s been great to see Seniors and Juniors using the Library for study during their breaks, and we hope to continue the trend in a week’s time when the Juniors all return.   We also have an area in the Library cordoned off for teachers when the staff room becomes too crowded.
Premier’s Reading Challenge

I was very pleased to hear back from those Year 7, 8 & 9 students who want to participate in the PRC this year.  Reading is so important for the development of language, vocabulary and communication.
Please encourage the students to read ‘out of their comfort zone’ and try something different – they won’t know what’s out there until they’ve tried a broad range of genres.
Online membership of GCCC Libraries

Another plug for the Gold Coast public libraries – who are still offering online membership whilst they are closed.  
Lots of links on the Youth page 
Library Makerspace

Makerspace won’t be held for the rest of Term 2 at school, but we will be offering Mystery Activity Bags to take away and complete at home from next week– the only pre-requisite being to send us a photo of the completed task.  Students can all into the Library for more details.
We are continuing to experiment with the 3D printer, and hope to be using it in Term 3.
Don’t forget to check out the Makerspace link on the Library Moodle page.
Day to day Library

Mrs Catherine McCosker returned from leave last week and got back into processing new books and shelving the returned books to the shelves.

Overdues:  A reminder to return your books from last term as soon as possible!  Thanks you to all those who have already as they have returned to school.  Year 11s and 12s should have everything back by now!  Notices will be sent out soon.

Whilst we continue our stocktake, we are still buying new books all the time.  The library building may still not be as busy with students as usual, but we are still working with teachers, selecting, preparing and organising resources in the Library.

And, just as last time, don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful (and windy) weather in between your online lessons!
Janet Cartlidge
Teacher Librarian

Careers & Vocational Education

Year 11 Student Portfolio Program

All Year 11 students will be provided with their Student Portfolios as well as their 2019 End of Year Reports on Thursday 21 May 2020. Portfolios will be provided overnight for updating and are required back at school on Friday 22 May 2020. Students are encouraged to include any awards or certificates achieved over the School Holidays as well as during 2020 First Term including:
  • Updated Student Resume
  • School Awards (Principals Awards, Academic Acknowledgement)
  • Community Service Awards (Surf Life Saving)
  • Sporting Achievement (Level of Achievement, Coaching Qualifications, Recognition of Participation)
  • Arts Involvements (Dance/Drama/Music level certificates and or awards)
  • Course Completion (First Aid Certificate, White Card, Blue Card)
  • References (Professional and/or Personal)
  • Work Experience Certificate
  • Evidence of Special Talent (Examples of Artwork or Photography)
Once updated, Student Portfolios are kept safe in the Marymount Careers Centre.  Students are provided easy access to their Portfolio throughout their senior years for job applications, interview processes, and when applying for scholarships, bursaries, course entry, and early placement. Should you have any questions contact the Careers Centre 55 861 063 or
Year 9-12 University Presentations

Over the past two weeks, we have seen the first of the Marymount College tailored Zoom presentations presented by Griffith University.  The events provided essential information and we are pleased that our students and parents populated the event so enthusiastically.
  • 1:30pm Thursday 14 May 2020 Southern Cross University will be presenting to Year 11 and 12 and answering any questions student and their parents have  
  • 1:30pm Thursday 21 May 2020 Southern Cross University will be presenting to Year 10 (via Zoom)
Further details on both events will be sent to students and parents. Stay tuned for further events including Bond University, Australian Catholic University and TAFE over the coming weeks.  We highly recommend participation. 
National Careers Week 18-24 May

A series of Industry Information Sessions and free Webinar Events are being presented next week in recognition of National Careers Week.  For a full list of events and further details, visit
Study Gold Coast - Virtual Careers Festival

You and your son/daughter are invited to join the Gold Coast Virtual Careers Festival.  Simply register online to engage with Gold Coast educators, discover insights from inspiring presentations and obtain up to date advice from professionals through the online live chat feature. Visit If you have any questions, please email
Year 11 & 12 Griffith Engineering Program

Griffith University is excited to offer Year 11 students the opportunity to take part in the Griffith Engineering Program commencing in late 2020. The program is designed to encourage students interested in pursuing a career in Engineering to study the equivalent of a first-year trimester Griffith University Engineering course during their senior years. Applications are online For further details, see Marymount College Careers Centre.
Griffith University 2020 Academic Bootcamps

Griffith University 2020 Academic Bootcamps are high-quality courses designed to assist students to achieve their full academic potential by improving confidence and understanding in senior subject areas and assessment while preparing for future tertiary study:
  • Year 11 Monday 29 June – Friday 3 July 2020 Online only
  • Year 12 Monday 28 September – Friday 2 October 2020 On-campus or online
All subjects will be run in a half-day format, allowing students to register for up to two subjects. Cost: $125 per course. More information or to register 
JMC Academy Online Open Day

Are you interested in a creative career? JMC Academy is hosting an online Open Day which is being held on Saturday 23 May 2020 from 1:00pm.  Explore courses offered and take part in the live workshops and Q&A sessions with Heads of Departments and Student Admissions team.  More information and to register 
Defence Force Recruiting Information Sessions

ADF is still recruiting over 250 roles. Two online Information Sessions are being offered in the coming weeks:
Dial-In Defence Careers Information Session
  • Thursday 21 May 2020 @ 6.00pm
  • Monday 25 May 2020 @ 6.00pm
 For further details, contact Ms Simone Corboy 5569 3916 or
QUT - School VET Qualifications - Important Update

In recognition of the extraordinary challenges Year 12 students are facing due to COVID-19 disruptions, QUT will now accept VET qualifications (Certificate IV and above) for entry in 2021 for any student who completes Year 12.
Any Year 12 student who graduates with a:
  • Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • ATAR
Will also be able to use the selection rank for their VET qualification for entry to QUT in 2021.  As a guide, minimum selection ranks for completed AQF VET qualifications are:
  • 87.00 for a completed diploma
  • 74.00 for a completed certificate IV
This option is available for entry in 2021 only. Students who wish to take a gap year should still apply for 2021 and then defer their offer. Further details 
Prestige Service Training - Student Support Sponsorship

PST has recently been approved to access the Student Support Sponsorship Framework which is a program designed specifically to support students currently enrolled with PST.  To apply, students are required to submit a 50 word or less paragraph.  For further details, contact Ms Teigan Thew 1300 368 097 or or see the Marymount College Careers Centre.
University of New England (UNE) - Early Entry Program

UNE’s Early Entry Program is going ahead as usual and applications are currently open for Year 12 Students. This may be a good option to consider for students whose education and results may be impacted by COVID-19. Applications close on Friday 25 September 2020.  For further details, phone: 02 6773 505, visit UNE website or see Marymount College Careers Centre. 
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