Term 4 Issue No. 1, November 11

AGM for Friends of the Arts

By Paul Kitching

Find out more or nominate for a leadership role

Frients of the Arts (FOTA) AGM and 2023 Committee Call Out
We all know the never-ending, positive benefits that the Arts bring to our community!

Do you love the Arts? And want to get involved in a fun committee to help celebrate it at Mercedes College? 

The Mercedes College 'Friends Of The Arts' Committee (FOTA) is a group of passionate parents who support Arts in the school community and beyond - joined by the Arts Leaders of the year, as well as faculty members of the Arts Faculty.

FOTA exists to recognise the incredible role of Arts programmes in schools and to raise the profile and appreciation of the Arts at Mercedes College.

The call is now out for interested parents to join FOTA for 2023 (with only one committee meeting per term).

FOTA’s 2022 AGM will be held in the College Staff Room on Tuesday 29 November 6pm.
Come along and find out more!

Nominations are also now open for the role of Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer for 2023.

If you would like more information, please email current Chair, PK, at paul.kitching@fuller.com.au, otherwise we look forward to meeting other parents passionate about supporting the Arts at the AGM.

Paul Kitching (PK)
2020/21/22 FOTA Chair

Containment control


Thank you for keeping students home when they have cold or flu like symptoms and undertaking testing for COVID-19 – albeit made trickier with seasonal allergies of late.

Everyone’s efforts are appreciated, particularly with exams underway and more scheduled in the coming weeks for Year 11 and then Year 10 students.

Containment remains an effective control against an outbreak in a school community, so please have children with symptoms tested, and if positive for COVID-19, keep them home until all acute symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever) have cleared.

On returning to campus, Middle and Senior School students need to wear a mask while indoors for 7 days from the start of symptoms or their positive test, whichever is earliest, and we encourage younger ones to do likewise.

All Saints Day

By Helen Ayliffe

Year 6 cohort celebrates the life and works of saints

There are over 11,000 saints revered and worshipped by Christians worldwide, however, an official list of all saints does not exist.

In Week 3 our Year 6 cohort celebrated the culmination of their MYP Unit of Inquiry, Saints in the Making, putting a lot of care and effort into costumes representing some well known, and some little-known saints from around the world. Elaine Grottick and myself were delighted to be guest judges, hearing each student's knowledge, stories and undertstanding of their chosen saint, and their roles, accomplishments, and patronage.

Student reflections:
"We had been planning and researching for All Saints Day for a week. We all looked so good in our costumes, we gathered in the library and took photos then went back to our classrooms and one by one all went up to present to the class. Overall it was really fun and we all had a great time." -- Sofia Tropeano

"I really enjoyed All Saints Day because we were able to have fun and dress up as our favourite saints, but at the same time we were learning about their life and story. When the time came that each student presented to the class, everyone got excited. We were able to tell our whole class and teachers about our wonderful saint’s life. Overall, the experience was very fun and enjoyable. HAPPY ALL SAINTS DAY!" -- Gilbert Pronk

Helen Ayliffe
Learning Area Leader
Religious Education

Celebrating our old scholars




MOSA Month 
During October MOSA held a number of events celebrating our old scholar community. 

Liturgy and Lunch |  with our old scholars from the 1950s, 60s and 70s

Play Date and Tour | with our old scholars with pre-schoolers - all of them gorgeous! 

MOSA Assembly | at our annual MOSA Assembly we shared some outstanding old scholar achievements. Our guest speaker was Bree Hargrave, former Sports Captain at Mercedes in 2000, and now representing Australia. 

Bree’s dream was to represent Australia as an individual athlete and at the age of 39 she's achieved this.  She represented Australia in Cycling at the recent Commonwealth Games, recording personal best times and narrowly missing the bronze medal. Her story is one of persistence, resilience and hard work and students were inspired by her story.

Current Parents/Old Scholars Breakfast | 26 October

In late October we hosted a breakfast for our current families and current College team members who are also old scholars. With more than 90 families and in excess of 20 staff who are old scholars, this was really something special to celebrate.  

First L-R Andrew Khabbaz (2009), Sarah Hartlett (2003), Lachy Jones (2007), Sarah Pfitzner (1994), Stephen Heuzenroeder (2008) 

Second Current Parents Nick Pipinias (1995), Joe Maniscalco (1999), Ben Everett (1999) 

Mimili Reunion | Celebrating 25 Years of STEP Mimili Treks 

On Sunday 20 November we're hosting a reunion in the courtyard at The Torrens Arms Hotel from 2-pm to celebrate 25 years of Mimili Treks. 

If you been on a Mercedes College Mimili Trek, join us as share memories about this amazing experience. 

Click here to purchase your ticket.

Anne Morse
MOSA Executive Officer

Band Auditions

By Lauren Vilanova

Register now for auditions Friday 18 November

We are on the lookout for students who play any of the following instruments to audition for our 2023 bands.

  • trumpet
  • trombone
  • saxophone (alto, tenor and baritone)
  • flute
  • clarinet
  • piano
  • guitar
  • bass guitar
  • drums

We are aiming to form three bands next year, with plenty of live performance opportunities in the pipeline.

Belonging to a band (or choir) is a great way to meet people from across different year levels, and helps you develop you musical skills. You get to work with others towards common goals, demonstrate commitment and develop resilience -- plus so much more.

Click here to register your interest.

On the registration form you'll also find a link to audition material.

Be brave and come and audition!
We'll see you on Friday 18 November in MD201.

Lauren Vilanova
Music Key Teacher

Community Links

By Stephen Heuzenroeder

Building strong connections through mentoring

The Student Mentoring Programme (SMP) at Mercedes College fosters a strong sense of community between students and mentors, and across the three schools with the help of our Year 12 cohort. As the 2022 programme winds down, we share some reflections from our mentors.

"I have a soft spot for the Student Mentoring Programme! My working career at the College began in the programme (then known as the Learning Assistance Programme) and I was very fortunate to work with its founder, Penny Penhall. Penny was someone who walked the talk; she was a wonderful role model and gave her all to care for all the children and volunteers in the program.

Now, as it was under Penny's guidance, the programme is about students having the opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with a volunteer. This is not only to support learning outcomes, but focuses on the wellbeing, social, and emotional needs of students." -- Debbie Goss

"Throughout 2022 participation in SMP has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Being in the unique position of working with various students in my roles with OSHC and as an ESO, the opportunity to foster a connection through one-on-one sessions with a student during Mentoring is an experience I value. These sessions are substantial for the development of student -self-confidence, wellbeing, and individual interests/personality, whilst giving them the opportunity to have a break from the classroom and a bit of fun." -- Toby Plate

"Working at OSHC as an Educator has allowed me to interact with so many students over the years and it has been so rewarding to connect with some of them in a Mentoring capacity and see first-hand what a positive impact SMP has." -- Anna Cernev

"Working at Mercedes OSHC as well as participating in the Student Mentoring Programme is great as they complement each other regarding building relationships with children. My experience in OSHC has opened the door for me to refine my skills through SMP. Both areas within the school can be challenging yet are extremely rewarding, and I believe OSHC and SMP allow for both students and educators/volunteers to learn more about themselves and others.’" -- Sophie James

If you would like to be part of the Student Mentoring Programme in 2023, please email me for more information.

Stephen Heuzenroeder
Student Mentoring Programme Coordinator

College Leadership

Energising pace

By Andrew Balkwill

Like the dizzy daze of whirling on a hurdy gurdy – or carousel – the start of Term 4 has its own energising pace!

In the opening week’s alone, Year 12 Graduation Ceremony and Mass, Footsteps Dance practice ahead of performances have been underway, our Year 3’s have been up to the Woodhouse Activity Centre and our Year 5 graduates hosted their IB Primary Years Programme exhibition – and what a great insight to the deep inquiry based learning that was.

Throw in a Brass concert, Piano in the Parlour, Year 10 Geocaching, Year 12 SACE Art and Design exhibition, a ‘Week without Walls’, a moving assembly hosted by our Middle School to mark Remembrance Day and of course our Year 12 students are in the depths of final assessments and exams – there’s a bit going on.

With Santa arriving in town tomorrow, we’re delighted to host him here at Mercedes College on Sunday to wish everyone a Merry Christmas – and perhaps take a few orders! I look forward to seeing you there on Sunday from 2-5pm.

With full reservoirs and the Riverland experiencing flooding, it’s clear we’ve all had an exceptionally wet winter. Here at Mercedes College the rain has pushed out some elements of our build, yet overall the programme remains on track. The various levels of our new precinct now visible and the preparation of precast elements off site are set to transform this area in early 2023. A big thank you to our staff – around half of who park off site daily – and families for your patience while development works are underway.

Achievements at Mercedes College are not limited to our talented, capable and energetic students. Together with our College Council we have reviewed governance arrangements and practices, including the Council’s operations and structure. In keeping with our ‘best-better’ approach, we will shortly be calling for people to join our Council and Standing Committees – keep eye out for details and a big thank you to our current talented councilors and everyone who has contributed to date.

Together with Catholic Education SA having assessed applications, we will appoint an interim Deputy Principal from Term 1. Early next year, this position will be re-advertised, with the aim of attracting a high calibre candidate with a depth of education and people leadership experience to best complement our highly capable team.

As a proud International Baccalaureate world school from Reception to Year 12 with a record of excellence, we know that it takes a village to raise a child, and a great team of leaders, teachers, specialists and administrators to set students up for success so they can flourish.

At Mercedes College, we have an outstanding team, and I look forward to welcoming an interim Deputy Principal while we undertake further recruitment.

Junior Journeys

The importance of our environment

By Kellie Osborn

As we enter the final half of Term 4, preparations for end-of-year events are well underway, with arrangements for 2023 taking shape

Year 5 IB Primary Years Programme Exhibition: Through small actions, everyone can make an impact.
Our Year 5 IB PYP Exhibition reminds us that we can all make a difference, and that our actions and reactions impact the world around us.
We are extremely proud of the passion, hard work, commitment, determination, care and creativity our Year 5 students have demonstrated in exploring, researching, taking action and finding solutions for their chosen topic. Their Exhibition showcase in Week 3 was a celebration of learning that enabled students to present and share their unique journeys with their families, teachers and our wider College community.

The PYP Exhibition culminates independent student inquiry in the final year of the programme. The Exhibition process started in Term 3 providing our Year 5 students the opportunity to: 

  • engage in an indepth, collaborative inquiry 
  • demonstrate capacity to set goals and take responsibility for learning 
  • explore multiple perspectives 
  • engage with the broader learning community 
  • take action as a result of learning 
  • synthesize and apply learning from previous years and reflect on their PYP education 

Students were supported by teachers and mentors, as well as encouraged by their families, to ensure a great success.

Year 3 Port Noarlunga Reef Excursion 
As part of our 'Sharing the Planet' Unit of Inquiry, Year 3 students visited Port Noarlunga Reef - a part of the Great Southern Reef which stretches from Kalbarri in Western Australia to northern New South Wales. This excursion helped students to make direct and authentic links to their classroom learning, seeing first hand that changes are occurring in a nearby ocean environment.

Their visit incorporated a reef walk to find small creatures such as sea stars and mussels, and trips in dinghys to see ocean creatures and the changing geology of Port Noarlunga from the water. Students gained a deeper appreciation of marine plants and animals along our southern coastline, and a refuelled passion for protecting the ocean.

Kellie Osborn
Head of Junior School

Middle Moments

Middle mash-up

By Ben Dray

Cooking, creativity, getting out of the classroom, and building leaders

Welcome to Term 4 where we intend to finish the year on a positive note.

As we all prepare for end of year activities, and the excitement of a looming holiday season builds, it is important for students to maintain their positive attitudes to successfully completiing their studies. Focus now will have them finish the year and be in a great position to begin 2023 - and we are confident that they'll find this success.

Year 8 Sprout Cooking
As part of their Growth and Personal Skills Programme, our Year 8 students have developed a deeper understanding of healthy eating and safe cooking practices, including a hands on experience at Sprout Cooking School!

Our Year 8s were put to the test with the preparation of healthy, fresh, and tasty meals, with skills 'sprouting' in the kitchen.

Reflection from class 8KY
"Each Year 8 class was lucky enough to spend a day at Sprout Cooking School as part of our ‘Life Skills’ focus in GPS. We learned about kitchen safety and cooking techniques and were then ‘let loose’ in the kitchen to prepare (and eat!) three different meals, including corn fritters topped with salsa, guacamole, and feta, tandoori chicken with flatbread and green salad, and a poached pear and cinnamon cheesecake. Apart from the food, some of our highlights included being ‘hands-on’, spending time with friends, learning about nutrition, and just generally cooking delicious food with our mates."

Week Without Walls | Year 6 and Year 7 
While disappointing that our Year 6 and Year 7 students didn't get to Canberra Camp this year, a Week Without Walls has helped make it up to them.

Both Year 6 and Year 7 students have been experiencing a Week Without Walls through a series of fun and interesting incursions and excursions that get them out and about learning.

Year 6 students have been immersed in digital technology, visited Parliament House and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, experimented with science, and run wild at AFL MAX,

Year 7 students turned to robotics, visited Adelaide Zoo and the Adelaide Museum, and explored the Memorial Walk - plus  more.

Student reflections:
"At parliament house we looked at who was in charge, and what the different roles in court were, and we even did a realistic court case." 
Mabel Hille and Jensen Marold (Year 6) 

“I enjoyed the flag football tournament.”
William Catanari (Year 7) 

“The egg drop challenge was fun. We liked naming our egg!”
Lucy McConnochie (Year 7) 

“My favourite thing was the massive soccer game at recess and lunch.”
Alex Wiltshire (Year 7) 

“I liked all the design challenges.”
Lucas Mazzone (Year 7) 

Middle School Leaders 
The process for assigning 2023 Middle School leadership positions is underway. Students interested in these positions have lodged a written application and attended an interview with a staff selection panel. Shortlisted students are now preparing a speech to deliver to their peers, outlining their intentions for the role and how they could positively support the College.

Regardless of the results, I am sure all participants have gained new skills and useful knowledge to use in the future.

Appointments of our 2023 Middle School Leaders will be announced in our next Mercy Vine. 

Suns out – Hats on 
Now that the sun has finally arrived (mostly) and the weather is warming up, I offer a timely reminder for students to wear their College hat when not under cover, regardless of the temperature or weather conditions. We will continue to remind and encourage students to be sun smart, so please help us reinforce the importance of protecting skin from the harmful effects of the sun too.

Ben Dray
Head of Middle School

Senior Stories

Farewell to Year 12 for 2022

By Michael Francis

Celebrating our Class of 2022 and Award recipients

Year 12 Graduation Ceremony
Congratulations to the Class of 2022, who recently celebrated their Graduation Ceremony at the Adelaide Convention Centre. This was a truly special occasion, with each and every young person honoured for their contributions to Mercedes College and our community. Particular congratulations go to the recipients of a range of awards, including the 2022 Year 12 Mercy Keys.

2022 Mercy Key Award recipients 
Compassion | Thomas Ditillio 
Loyalty | Evan Lange 
Justice | Charlotte Sorell 
Integrity | Abigail Ranford 
Responsibility | Sara Tilbrook 
Mutual Respect | Raff Raschella 

2022 Mercy Education Award  
Isabelle Stein 

2022 Perseverance and Determination in Leadership at Mercedes College 
Marianna de Tullio 

2022 MOSA Award recipients 
Isabella Shakib and Samuel Hurley 

2022 Maher Excellence in Arts Award 
Rosie Lewis 

2022 Olympic Change Maker Awards
Lara Fox and Harry Faulkner 

2022 Outstanding Leadership in the Mercedes College Community 
Jordan Lewis 

Term 4 focus 
With Year 12 students completing their examinations, our Year 10 and Year 11 students  beginning to finalise their assessment for the semester, families will have received information about the final weeks for each Year level, and we look forward to seeing the Year 10 and Year 11 students finish the year strongly as they prepare for 2023.

A reminder to all families that the school year comes to an end on Friday 9 December, with students required up to and including this date. 

Michael Francis
Head of Senior School

Director of Mission


By Therese Wilson

Meaning through movement, future aspirations, and the importance of giving

Reception and Year 8 Liturgy

As pictured, our Year 8 students recently celebrated a liturgy interpreted and presented by our Reception students. By sharing their story physically through movement, our Reception students showed meaning through wonder and play. This method nurtures our youngest students spiritual lives in a way that is real and meaningful for them.

Year 12 Graduation Mass 
On their last day before examinations started, our Year 12s attended their Graduation Mass, presided over by Father John Shanahan (who we thank for making our graduates a priority after flying in from Sydney that morning).

Father Shanahan used his homily to challenge students to consider what they may achieve after graduation. Having just attended his latest school reunion, he poignantly reflected upon the great things many of his school mates had achieved in the last 50 years, including friend Robert Costa, a cardiologist who has retired and now finds joy in volunteering his skills in developing countries.

In ending his homily, Father Shanahan told a story of Peruvian peasant farmer, Maxina Acuna de Chaupe, who won the Goldman Environmental Prize; a global award for grassroots environmental activists. Filled with grit and determination, yet no formal education, she has achieved much, and so Father Shanahan questioned the Class of 2022 again: with a Mercedes College education behind them, "imagine what you may achieve..."

At the conclusion of the Mass, our Year 12s got a cheerful 'high five farewell' from their Reception buddies, who wished them well on their next steps.

Year 10 Reflection Day: ‘Why Serve Others?’ 
This week our Year 10 students Reflection Day focused on the theme of serving others. In a day filled with activities designed to embrace our Mercy Spirit, live our faith, and spend time in friendship, students heard from Senior Kaurna man, Mickey O'Brien, about the importance of serving others and the land.

Students actively put together care packages for young mothers staying at Louise Place in Centacare, and we thank our Year 10 families - as well as Romeo’s Foodland and My Newborn Nursery - for a show of remarkable generosity in donating items for these care packages; it was a true expression of Mercy Spirit.

Advent begins on Sunday 27 November, four weeks before we celebrate the coming of Christ.  

Therese Wilson
Director of Mission

Good Sports

Athletics a shining star

By Josh Archer and Tamae Ninos

Summer sport is underway

Summer Sport 
Term 4 summer sport has started successfully across the secondary girls and boys sports programmes. Our teams have been competing in Volleyball, Touch Football, Cricket, Water Polo, Tennis, and Basketball, as well as Athletics, which continues training this term. There have been some great performances from both a team and individual perspective, which has been fantastic to see. A special mention to Year 9 Cricketer Amitej Singh who made a hundred in the first game of the season, and to Year 8 student Ava Barton who has stepped up in the Middle A Basketball team, demonstrating her skills and leading by example.  

Unfortunately our Year 7-12 Girls Softball team was left with no competition to play in this Term, after the Term 1 competition folded. As the only other school to nominate a team, we were able to organise a trial match this week against St Ignatius' College, and it was great to see our girls out there having a great time with their friends against some strong competition.

Please be reminded that the Term 4 season is quite short, as our Senior School teams (Year 10 to Year 12) will be finishing their competition season at the end of Week 5, and the Middle School teams (Years 7-9) will finish in Week 6. 

All Schools Athletics  
Last weekend we had a number of students represent the College at the VIVA All Schools games at Bridgestone Athletics Centre. This event is the state championships and the qualifier for Nationals, held here in SA at the end of the year. We would like to congratulate the following students for their participation: Max Swift, James Slape, Talia Cenko, Hayley Fuss, Maggie Robinson, Summer Hudswell, Ava Barton, Oliver Dixon, Jared Cenko, Christian Whitwell, Eamon Sibly and Layla Kinnane.  

Congratulations to the following students who placed top three in the state for their events!  

Max Swift – 3rd U14 Boys in Hammer Throw and Shot Put
Oliver Dixon - 2nd in the U15 Boys 100m and 200m Hurdles
Ava Barton – 1st U15 Girls Pole Vault, 3rd in Javelin and 3rd in 200m Hurdles
Summer Hudswell – 1st in the U15 Girls Steeplechase, 3rd in the 3000m
Christian Whitwell - 1st in the U16 Boys Shot Put
Layla Kinnane – 1st in the U18 Girls 100m, 200m and 400m
Eamon Sibly – 2nd in the U18 Boys Triple Jump

School Sport SA Ekiden Relay
Ekiden, a long distance, multi-stage running relay, was established in Japan in 1917. This year, Mercedes College featured five teams in the 2022 School Sport SA Ekiden Relay, held in Week 1 at Bonython Park, and a much warmer day than expected had our 43 athletes fighting tough conditions.

A dip on the finish line by Christian Whitwell (Year 9) saw our Junior Boys Team claim victory over 20.6 kilometers by just 2 seconds, whilst our Junior Girls team came second. Individual congratulations go to Jon-Luc Catinari (Year 9), Kiara Coscarella (Year 9), Annabel Hage (Year 9), Jessica Mathers (Year 7), Christian Whitwell, and Ethan Zachos (Year 9) for being the fastest runners in their respective legs.

All of our participants showed great resilience and determination when the going got tough, and even more impressive was the camaraderie across year levels, with our runners going the extra mile to pace teammates.

Congratulations to all who competed, we already can’t wait for 2023! 

First Aid and Student Medication 
Please ensure your child provides their coach with clearly labelled personal medication (including puffers and epi-pens) before ALL training and games. This will ensure that if anything was to happen, the player and coach knows exactly where the medication is rather than having to look through bags. Your child CANNOT participate in their training or game if their coach does not have their medication.  

Student Achievements 
Congratulations to Lucy Adams (Year 7) who has been selected in the U15 Emerging Athlete Development Program Squad for Basketball. This selection will see Lucy play in January 2023 at the Southern Cross Challenge in Melbourne representing the U15 Metro Girls team. An incredible achievement!

If your child, or someone you know in the Mercedes College community, has achieved highly in their chosen sport/activity please contact the relevant Sport Coordinator via SEQTA. Include as much detail as possible and include a photo if you can. The Mercedes College community would love to hear about it.

Tamae Ninos and Josh Archer
Girls' and Boys' Sport Coordinators


Mini Musos and Singin' in the Rain


From our tiniest performers to our most 'dramatic'

Mini Musos
Our miniest of musicians presented their annual Mini Musos concert recently, performing a variety of pieces with great enthusiasm; they were all wonderful risk takers. Thank you to families who were able to attend and support our Receptions, Year 1 and Year 2 students in this special event.

Student reflections:

"I liked watching people perform because it was entertaining and I liked the soloists." -- Alice, 2NM

"My favourite thing about the Mini Musos concert was singing in Petites Voix." -- Sebastian, 2NM

Singin' in the Rain Jr
There's still time to get your tickets to the Year 8 Musical: Singin' in the Rain Jr, a musical comedy filled with colour, energy, and all the glamour of Hollywood in the roaring 20s.

Our Year 8 cohort has been working together tirelessly to create backdrops, props and costumes, design posters and programs, learn the art of backstage management and, of course, rehearsing the show!

Secure one of a handful of tickets left to the evening shows or, if your based at home during the day, why not book for the matinee - what a fantastic way to spend your lunch break!

Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood making their latest period drama in the silent film era, but it all goes wrong when Hollywood introduces the 'talkies'...

Singin' in the Rain Jr
Goodwood Theatre
Tuesday 22 November, 7pm to 8pm
Wednesday 23 November, 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Wednesday 23 November, 7pm to 8pm

Adults $16.50
Students $11

Click here to book your tickets today.

Rebecca Pfitzner and Sandy Lee
Junior School Music Leader and Drama Key Teacher


What children tell us

By Anne Way

Insights from 'Tell Helen' campaign

Through her Student Voice Postcard initiative, children from Years 2 to 6 recently told Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, what is happening in their lives, and their worries and hopes for the future. Mercedes College students also saw Helen acknowledged as our 2022 Mercy Award recipient at Mercy Day Mass.

Our children told us that “school is safe”, and “that I am alright”. They said that they love playing, having fun, coming to school to learn, and be with friends. They spoke of the good things in their lives, and how much they appreciate what we do for them. Gratitude was a recurring theme, “you’re awesome”, “I appreciate all that you do for us”, “you are kind and help me grow up”, and “I am thankful for everything”. But they are aware that the adults in their lives seem stressed, which makes them nervous about their own future.

Worries about paying bills and taxes and work predominated. Children worry about the regular tests, measurements, and comparisons they are subjected to, the grades they receive, and the impact this will have on their future success and pathways. They worry about what people think of them, the potential loss of friendships, and they are particularly concerned about the big issues facing society - pollution, climate change, war, poverty, homelessness and endangered animal species'.

COVID-19 continues to impact their lives. Our children want grownups to know more about who they are, what they care about, their feelings and aspirations, what is happening for them at school - that it is different to “your days” and can be hard even if it looks like they are coping. They have ideas and rights, can be trusted, are responsible and can be taken seriously. While they appreciate what we do for them, they also want us to take better care of ourselves: “still have fun even when you’re old”, the environment: “the world isn’t trash, we just can’t throw it away. There is no Planet B”, children, and each other. At times they need our help, and at others they need their independence and privacy.

Many of the same things are still important to them, like playing and spending time with friends and families. Technological and sociological shifts see our children growing up, learning and navigating relationships in a hyperconnected, fast-paced world. Their diverse and complex lives continue to be shaped by rapid technological, cultural, political, and environmental change. They want to be heard “even though we are just kids we have a right to have an opinion”, “I have a voice and I want to be heard” and taken seriously in the classroom, their homes and community.

Now more than ever it is vital that adults moderate the information children access and how we speak and act with them, as they are absorbing so much without always being able to discern and discard. We must remain mindful of our role modelling. The postcards have been a wonderful opportunity to tap into their lives and views, and how they want us to make a difference. Their insights will help us to support their progression through school academically, socially and emotionally and could also factor into our own personal and family plans, to ensure that we support our children into their future.

Anne Way
Director of Wellbeing
College Psychologist (R-12)

From the Assistant Principal

NAPLAN Results 2022

By Adrian Chiarolli

A summary from this year's testing

We are pleased to provide the following summary of NAPLAN results for 2022.   

NAPLAN results are used by us to guide inquiry into student capabilities and inform teaching and learning. We triangulate NAPLAN data with other literacy and numeracy indicators as well as wellbeing measures to support our inquiries. This is an opportunity to reflect on initiatives introduced and consider other adjustments to learning experiences that can address concerns or build on celebrations and ensure we are focused on continuous improvement. By engaging in collaborative discussions to explore the data and go deeper than purely a cohort mean score, we can track the progress of individual students, follow a cohort over time and break down results by levels of achievement and gender.   

Following the release of the national report for 2022, we are able to compare our results with those at state and national levels.  As a Catholic school, we are also able to access mean scores across the sector. This provides us with a range of benchmarks for our analyses.

While mainstream media has been reporting disappointing results in literacy across Australia, Mercedes College is celebrating strong gains in writing across all Year levels, plus reading in Year 3 and Year 7. Mean scores in grammar and numeracy also saw gains in Year 3.

We regularly review our approaches to literacy and numeracy and explore the range of evidence-based approaches that could be used for general and targeted interventions.

NAPLAN will be moving to Term 1 in 2023, and these results will continue to inform our approaches, as we continue evaluate the effectiveness of any changes on mean scores.

Adrian Chiarolli
Assistant Principal
Teaching and Learning