For your Information
All outstanding school fees are now due for payment.
Dear Parents and Carers
What a whirlwind finish to our 2021 school year!
The month of December started with our End of Year Mass and Awards Presentation, swimming carnival, the completion of our Mini Mary's transition days, the year 6 Graduation dinner, the Year 7 2022 Orientation day at MCC and the election of our School leaders for 2022.
On Monday we held the Leadership Speeches for our Year 5 students. We appreciate the effort in presenting their speeches in front of staff and students. Congratulations to our school captains, Archie Pope and Mabel Mula, and our vice school captains Max Lobsey and Georgia Skeels. If you would like a video copy of your child's speech please contact the school office.
During the Awards Presentation, we recognised the outstanding effort our students have contributed during 2021 in all areas of the school. Congratulations to the all our 2021 award winners.
I want to thank our families for their support during the year. A big thank you to our canteen workers, especially our canteen manager Bree Henson. Without your assistance, we could not offer this valuable service.
Finally, I wish you all a safe and Holy Christmas and hope you enjoy the holiday break.
Term 4 sport has been a little different to what we had planned due to COVID 19 restrictions, however we have still been able to enjoy the wonderful facilities and equipment our school has to offer.
We are delighted to announce that Ashlee Albert will be returning for the next few weeks to continue the gymnastics program with the infants students on a Friday. She will work with Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2, teaching them all things acro; jumping, tumbling, balancing, flexibility, core strength and gross motor movements. Students thoroughly enjoyed this program during term 3 and are looking forward to continuing.
Primary students will continue to engage in a variety of strategy, teamwork, fundamental movement skills and communication games with their classes.
During week 9, students from Kinder through to grade 6 will participate in 3 days of intensive swimming. Infants students will go to the South Grafton Lifestyle Centre via bus each day and will be taught by trained swimming instructors. Primary students will walk to the Grafton Aquatic Centre and enage in swim survival, stroke correction and water safety activities. More details, including cost for both infants and primary swimming have been sent home via a note and can also be found on our SchoolZine app under notes.
Our 2021 Swimming carnival will be held on Friday 3 December at the Grafton Aquatic Centre. Unfortunately due to various restrictions still in place for schools and parents attending school events, the decision has been made to keep this carnival closed and will only be attended by school staff and students. We understand that this is disappointing, however it is something we have decided to do to ensure the safety of our students and staff. More details about the swimming carnival will be sent home in the comming weeks.
These past two weeks have been full of magic and enjoyment. In English, we have been exploring a variety of texts that engage the reader in different ways. One of those books was Possum Magic and, what better way to help our imagination but to feel a part of the story and eat lamingtons and ANZAC biscuits.
In Mathematics, students have been looking at position and how to use directional language to give clear directions. They were able to try out their new skill by navigating the bee bots through obstacles.
We have started a new unit in Religion ‘Advent and Christmas’. In this unit concepts of waiting and joyful anticipation are explored through the use of the Advent Wreath and the story of John the Baptist.
In Religion, Year 1 has finished our Creation unit by getting messy and using our hands to create sea creatures. We have since dived straight into our Advent unit. This started with an exciting announcement from an unexpected visitor and learning all about Year 1s favourite colour...purple and it’s significance.
During sport we have enjoyed practising our skills and learning to skip and some of the different types of cricket.
In music, we have been listening to different Christmas carols and accompanying these with percussion instruments. In creative arts, we dabbled in some halloween art, which was strengthening our fine motor skills.
In maths, we are learning about money and different combinations to make a given amount.
Dear Parents and Carers
This week saw the completion of planned building works that were possible due to funds provided by the Catholic Schools Office WHS grant. The Grant allowed us to install safety screens on the upstairs classroom windows, classroom door locks and a perimeter fence around the school carpark. We are gratefully for the continuing support of the Catholic Schools Office.
Our Mini Mary's program has commenced with children attending on Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon. It has been wonderful to welcome them to our school.
At the other end of the spectrum, we will be welcoming a number of ex-students back in Week 8 as they undertake work experience. I'm sure it will be interesting for them to see the staffroom from the other side!
Teaching staff have been working very hard to prepare Semester 2 reports which will be available from the school portal later this term. Directions for using the portal are included in this newsletter.
Just a reminder, it is a requirement of schools that all visitors are to be covid vaccinated, and the certificate details must be provided upon arrival.
The canteen committee will be offering a Hot Dog day on Monday 22 November. An order form will be sent home soon. This is a fundraiser to assist with the Year 6 graduation.
For your Information
All outstanding school fees are now due for payment.
Congratulations to Mrs Connor and her family on the safe arrival of Billy. We hope to have Mrs Connor come in for a visit very soon and are all looking forward to meeting baby Billy.
Last week our Year 5 students participated in Excuro.
Next week the Bookfair will be held and students will have the opportunity to purchase books from the 'pop up' shop.
Covid-19 restrictions continue to impact our school lives with a number of decisions this week affecting our calendar events.
Our Stage 3 camp has been cancelled and a letter has been sent out to families regarding payments that may have been made. The Jacaranda Festival has been altered again with Jacca Thursday being moved to 9 December. The Year 7 2022 Orientation at MCC has been moved and a flyer has been sent home.
Happily, we can proceed with our Term 4 sport and the school swimming carnival.
Here is a recap of some of our Facebook posts from the past two weeks.
For your Information
All outstanding school fees are now due for payment.
Last term families school sport costs were invoiced to families but as our sporting program was affected by covid-19 restricitions we will be applying the remaining sporting credits to Term 4.
We are excited to be back for Term 4 and we welcome Miss Georgia Allen who will be working in Year 4 as a fourth year prac student, guided by Mrs Bancroft.
In Religion, Year 3 are learning about the Holy Eucharist and the parts of the Mass and Year 4 are focussing on prayer and the different ways we can communicate with God.
This term in English, we will be writing some wonderful poetry while looking at connotation and imagery. We have some excellent activities planned to explore the literary world of poetry and how authors use a range of language devices to create and enhance the imagery and connotation in their writing. We shared the book, Shapes of Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft, and the students had to use their imaginations to create an artwork combining several images from the book. Some of the Year 3 students’ work is featured below.
Miss Allen is very enthusiastic to be guiding Mathematics in Year 4 for the next four weeks. The focus will be on the Measurement strand. Year 3 learnt about grams and kilograms and finding the mass of objects and now are learning about fractions and mixed numerals. Below are examples of timetables created by Year 4 during their Maths lesson:
In PDHPE, the strand Healthy, Safe and Active Lifestyles focuses on the interrelationship between health and physical activity concepts. Students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to empower them to make healthy and safe choices and take action to promote the health and wellbeing of their communities. Students engage with a range of health issues and identify strategies to keep them healthy, safe and active.
This term, Stage 2 will be exploring dance as a creative avenue for expression, including cultural, contemporary and traditional styles.
It is hard to believe we have already completed two weeks of Term 4, which is always a busy time in a school.
In this newsletter, we are sharing some housekeeping regarding accessing the parent portal which gives access to student reports being issued later in term 4.
Currently, staff are undertaking training in new software to be used by the school next year which will provide parents greater accessibility and streamline the many online portals we are using. More information will be provided later in the term.
2021 NAPLAN results were sent home to the families of year 3 and year 5 students last week.
Information regarding a possible Stage 3 (Yrs 5 & 6) camp was shared this week. We look forward to the possibility of taking our senior students away for an end-of-year excursion.
For your Information
The Road Safety focus in Term 4 is on safe bus behaviour to and from school.
For more information go to: https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/downloads/keeping-our-kids-safe-around-schools.pdf
Even though our learning in Geography has been disrupted this term we are pleased that the teaching of the units outlined below has now commenced, and will be the continued focus of our learning in Term 4.
We commenced our geography units with an indigenous focus that aligned with NAIDOC celebrations. The theme this year being Heal Country. The poster theme for this year – Care for Country, aligns closely with geographical concepts and the Catholic Social Teaching of Stewardship.
Kindergarten – People Live in Places
Within this unit, students look at places; their place, different places, special places, and places they belong to. They will explore how and why people look after places; the location of places and how they can be represented with maps and mapping skills will be investigated. The concepts of place, space and environment are addressed throughout the unit.
Stage 1 – Features of Places
The People Live in Places unit examines weather and seasons, features of places and how places are organised. Within these ideas, students learn about the weather and seasons in places, seasonal calendars and how activities change according to the weather. They learn about natural, built and managed features of places and how and why spaces in places can be organised.
Stage 2 – Places are Similar and Different
This unit explores the Australian continent, Australia’s neighbours, the climate of places, the similarities and differences between places and perception and protection of places. Within these ideas, students will explore different climate zones within Australia and compare those to our neighbouring countries. They will evaluate the impact of climate on the settlement patterns of particular areas and how it influences the daily lives of the people who live there. The significance of “place” to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and others is examined and consideration to how feelings and perceptions for a special place influence the actions of a community to protect the environment.
Stage 3 – Factors that Shape Places
This unit explores factors that change environments, how environments shape places, how humans shape places and the effects of natural disasters. Students examine the interconnectedness between the environment and human interaction. Students will examine how human decisions and actions influence the way spaces are organised and managed and they will gain an understanding of how communities can prevent and minimise the effects of natural disasters on the environment.
Science and Technology
Our postponed Science Week celebration was held this week with everyone participating in bee-related activities and exploring Augmented Reality (AR) in their lessons.
Kindergarten and Stage 1 students listened to a bush tucker story about collecting the sugarbag, danced along to the Waggle Dance, programmed Bluebots and explored how the Quiver app could bring their bee designs to life.
Students in Years 3, 4 and 5 found out a little more about native bees, including the amazing fact that Queen bees lay 300 eggs a day. They put on their design hats to create a label for a honey jar and were very excited to be able to explore AR with Merge Cubes.
Year 6 has been busily converting their Science Festival demonstrations to videos that can be shared with other classes under the current Covid-19 guidelines. In keeping with the Science Week theme of Food: Different by Design their activities include:
- Making icecream
- Lemon volcanos
- Glow in the dark jello
- Starburst slime
- Plastic milk
The Beeswax Wrap kits have been sent home this week. The children really enjoyed printing their calico and I am sure will learn a lot from being involved in the process of making the wraps. It has been a great activity to show the children how we can all make a difference in caring for the environment as well as reminding us of the importance of bees as pollinators. The level of support from families for this project has been amazing - thank you.
Happy (belated) Science Week!
Mrs Tricia Neithe
Thank you for your contributions towards student learning in term 3 and your continued support of our school community during difficult times. Our staff are grateful for the partnership approach to learning through the lockdown period.
We pray that you are all well, and wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday.
We look forward to welcoming students back on Tuesday 5 October for Term 4.
The Long Way Home writing competition happens each year in May where students from Year 2 right through to adults have the opportunity to write a short story based on an annual theme, with the chance to be chosen to be published in a local book titled The Long Way Home, Short Stories from the Clarence Valley.
The competition is in its 4th year and the theme was Look Up. Many students from our school entered the writing competition this year, with their story being no more than 150 words. With over 240 entries from students around the Clarence Valley, we are very pleased to announce that 8 of our amazing students' stories have been chosen to be published in the book, due to be released in December this year.
Please enjoy reading these wonderful stories which are printed below.
by Charlotte Cheng Year 6
Her bright phone screen flickered in her hand,
As the video she watched played on.
She slowly and carefully went up to stand,
But a voice in her head murmured, look up, don’t prolong.
Felicity refused but the voice kept pursuing,
Look up at your home, at it’s fascinating history.
She reluctantly looked up at the world still renewing,
We’ve been through a lot, thought Felicity.
Felicity stared down at her glowing device,
The voice spoke again, to her dismay.
Please look up, a minute will suffice,
So she looked up, without any say.
That second time, memories flooded into her mind,
Memories of bushfires, COVID 19.
Recollections of how floods were all you could find.
Then she put her device on her silver canteen.
So reader, look up,
Listen to that little voice in your head.
As it whispers on and on,
Look up, look up, look up.
by Parker Bancroft Year 2
I look up at the bonfire stars blazing in the deep, dark night sky. I think about the galaxy and wonder how many more planets there are that no one has discovered yet.
I feel tiny, like a bug trapped in a huge web and am unsure about the future. I notice the pictures and patterns in the sky that tell stories about our historical past.
I see a rare sighting of a red moon and a shooting star and am filled with joy and excitement. I remember to make a wish and wonder if it will come true.
I find myself looking at the red moon and I'm mesmerized by wondering if maybe one day we could live there and how amazing it would be.
I want to go there and discover all the answers to our problems here on planet Earth.
by Callum Cameron Year 4
Click! Boom! Ding! Game over! My sister yells for me to come outside and play. I say no because this game is a lot more fun.
As I lay in bed that night I think about playing outside. It seriously can’t be that good can it? The next morning as I am getting ready for school, mum tells me I have to walk. As I step outside, a cool, calm breeze brushes up against my face and the autumn leaves circle like a tornado. The warm, bright sun covers me like a blanket. It feels so good.
Once again my sister calls me outside but this time I don’t say no. I rush out the door to join her and begin breathing like a dragon. Today it is freezing outside. It's like a blizzard. I think staying outside is worth it because there is never a game over out here.
'A Lesson Never Learnt'
By Solina Bendle Year 4
I wake up to the sound of hurdling waves crashing along the beach and walk down the hillside to the salty smelling sea. The sand squishes between my toes. I look down. My heart sinks. In the sand are tiny pieces of multicoloured plastic. I look up at my favorite tree. Its branches sway in the breeze. Then I see something, a plastic bag suffocating the leaves. I can't see the sky through the smoke. I look out at the water. In it are bottle caps and cans bobbing up and down. Angry tears trickle down my cheek. I am angry at the people from generations before me. They didn't look after our planet. I pick up a rock, underneath it are shards of glass. Frustration and fear take over and I wonder what else will happen to my home and my land?
by Jamieson Allen Year 4
I look at the stars and wonder how they got there. I slowly drift off to sleep. Where am I? Why are there no colours? I think I've come back to when only the stars existed. I hear a voice that tells me the stars have always existed. I go deeper into space. I see more. I feel more. I hear more. I start to drift deeper into space. A planet comes into view. A dark planet, full of unfamiliar things. I walk around and notice something light and furry. I try to get closer and realise it's a human. I wave, trying to be friendly but it disappears. Suddenly I realise I am a long way from home. Which way is home? I look up to what I assume are birds circling above me. I close my eyes. When I open them, I see the familiar morning sun.
by Olivia Peppernell Year 4
I remember sinking, feeling weak like I couldn’t move, doubting myself. I felt my lungs collapsing on each other. My heart broke into little pieces. I knew I couldn’t see it but I could feel it and it was a killing pain, a stabbing pain. No oxygen, just deep, black, cold water as I sunk deeper by the second. My eyes were clinging shut as I knew they would burn from the salty water that surrounded me. I wanted to open my eyes. I really did. I was trying to be brave and build my confidence to look up. I knew that if I did I would be ok. My eyes slowly opened and I felt a great push against my back like I was floating on top of a whale. As I neared the surface I could see the clouds that seemed to form the words... just...look...up.
by Stella Skeels Year 4
As I opened my eyes I suddenly remembered flashing lights carrying me away and then noticed the plaster cast on my arm and it all came flooding back.
I could hear the birds singing in the trees so I went outside to catch a glimpse of them. I decided to climb up into the tree. As I reached the top I finally saw the spectacular colours. It was breathtaking. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an eagle flew across my head. I watched it glide around above me. Hypnotized by the sight, I didn’t notice a rainbow lorikeet hopping towards me. The vivid colours shocked me as it landed on my shoulder. I watched it fly away into the distance to join it’s flock. From halfway across the block I heard dad shout “time for lunch kiddo”. The last thing I remember is replying, ”I’ll be there in a second”.
'The Clarence River'
by Sabrina Golding Year 5
The Grafton bridges overlook the Clarence river. The sun shines on the glistening water with its beauty. Mother nature at its finest. Golden hour has just arrived. The best selfies you could ever take with these rays shining on you. Everyone has to get the best snaps when it’s time.
The sun has slowly sunk into the water and white stars make a zodiac sign in the dark blue sky. A pisces sign, the two fish swimming together. You could just imagine the fish swimming through the night sky. The train is passing. You see the carriages and the graffiti on them each. Its windows shine from the glow of the moon. My father told me that the Easter Bunny lives there. Look up at the moon and you can see her.