2021 Term 1 Week 4
Dear Parents and Carers,
Ash Wednesday is a solemn reminder of the need for reconciliation with God and it is the beginning of the Lenten season. It is a time to think about Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. On Wednesday, the students were respectful as they participated in the Ash Wednesday liturgy prepared by Mr Green. Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allows Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to alleviate poverty, hunger, oppression and injustice. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through your prayer and fasting; and by supporting Project Compassion with almsgiving.
The fish finger lunch day in the canteen on Ash Wednesday was a great success. Thank you to Bree Henson and her band of volunteers who provided this special day. Bree has ideas for other special food days to which we look forward.
Enrolments for Kindergarten 2022 are coming in and families with siblings need to fill in an online form as soon as possible. Find the link here Enrolment Application. We look forward to welcoming our new students to St Mary’s.
We are still adhering to COVID guidelines which are keeping our school community safe. We would like to remind you that you are able to enter the grounds to attend to matters in the office, and would like to thank you for your diligence in farewelling your children at the gates each morning. It has been a joyful time for staff as they meet and chat with so many of you during the morning drop-off.
The first meeting of the P&F was held recently during which an executive group was elected. Thank you and congratulations to Loretta Brown (President), Alison Perdikaris (Secretary), Gabi Fenerich (Treasurer) and Bree Henson (Canteen Manager) on your election. We look forward to working with you in providing a platform for parent and school collaboration.
The next P&F meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 March. During this meeting we will establish class parents for each class and welcome Parent Assembly Cluster Organiser, Chrissy Morrison. Chrissy will share information about the Parent Partnership grant from 2020, as well as welcoming ideas for 2021. A Zoom link is available if you cannot attend in person. We hope you can join us.
The staff will be involved with the next stage of the Berry Street Professional Learning opportunity on Monday 19 April and Tuesday 20 April. These will be pupil free days. We appreciate your cooperation in this important learning for our staff. There are no Professional Learning days scheduled for Term 1 this year.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAYS
MONDAY 19 and TUESDAY 20 APRIL 2021
Stage 2 Newsletter
Stage 2 has begun the year with great enthusiasm. Mrs Bancroft, Mr Woods and Mrs Myson are enjoying working together and planning engaging learning experiences.
In English the students had to decide if they thought city or country life was better. They split into two groups to plan their argument. After planning and writing some convincing arguments and choosing their team, a great debate was held.
During Religion, Year 3 has been focusing on creation and how unique everyone is. We will look at our talents and how each person can be signs of God’s love for each other. Year 4 has been learning about living the law of love and relationships. They will discuss the Commandments and how they are relevant in their lives.
For Creative Arts this term we have been learning about Indigenous artists and their different styles and techniques. During English, we read the book, “Why I Love Australia” by Bronwyn Bancroft who is an author and illustrator. We linked our City vs Country argument with art, studying her very colourful interpretation of the Australian landscape. The students are creating their own colourful designs.
This term, Stage 2 is enjoying learning NRL skills for sport with coach Wazza. We have practised passing, kicking and side stepping. The students are using the belts and tags and are having a great time learning how to play Oz tag.
This week our school celebrated the start of Lent with a whole school liturgy for Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time of strengthening our connection with God through fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
In this article from www.australiancatholics.com.au, we are encouraged to think about how we might get closer to God this Lent. Maybe your children might like to consider some of these suggestions that will get them closer to creation too.
Confirmation and First Holy Communion
The Sacrament of Confirmation will be held on 24 and 25 July.
Specific times and dates for the Sacrament will be shared once confirmed. The students who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation will begin their preparation with Mrs Myson during Term 2.
A date for the Sacrament of Holy Communion this year will be set in the coming weeks. This will be shared with our school community once confirmed.
Sport & PE
Congratulations to all the students who represented St. Mary's at the Zone Swimming Carnival last week in Maclean. Each and every student represented themselves and their school with pride and competed with great sportsmanship throughout the day.
A very special congratulations go to Georgia and Stella Skeels who have qualified to swim at the Lismore Diocesan Swimming Carnival in Murwillumbah next Friday. The girls both compete in the 50m Freestyle event and Georgia will also be competing in the 50m butterfly event. We wish both girls the best of luck and are extremely proud of their achievements so far.
CanDo Cancer Trust 2021
Notes were sent home last week asking for students to participate in the annual CanDo Cancer Swim. Thank you to the students who have said they will take part in this important event. There are still spaces left on all three teams for students still wanting to join.
The teachers have also decided to enter a team this year and are very excited about competing against the students for this great cause!
Parents! If you are a swimmer and would like to participate on the day please contact me via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
More information regarding this event can be found at the link below.
Daily Examiner Hockey
Students received notes today regarding the annual Daily Examiner Hockey competition starting next Thursday 25 February for three weeks. Games will be played in the following divisions and timeslots.
- Years 1 & 2 (6 a side- modified rules @ 4:00pm)
- Years 3 & 4 (7 a side- modified rules @ 4:40pm )
- Years 5 & 6 (8 a side- modified rules @ 5:20pm)
Please complete the permission note and return to the front office next week if your child is interested in playing.
Please note that this is not a teacher-supervised event and we do require parent volunteers to help organise the teams. If you can help with this, please let me know via the permission slip.
Anthony Don Legend 7's League Tag Gala Day.
Students in stages 2 and 3 have been invited to participate in a Rugby League Gala day organised by Wazza, our resident footy coach. This is a great opportunity for students to play Rugby League (tag) with students from other schools, under the guidance of trained coaches and professionals. Please complete the permission slip and return to school as soon as possible if your child is interested.
The Council of Catholic School Parents have provided staff and families with a number of online resources. The link to a guide titled 'Supporting Diverse Learning in catholic Schools' may be found below. It can be viewed in sections or its entirety.
Free Webinars to help you protect children online
In partnership with the esaftey Commissioner, the Council of Cathlic School Parents will be holding two free webinars to provide parents and carers with strategies to establish a safe online environment for their children.
The sessions will be presented by Greg Gebhart, one of Australia's leading online safety presenters. Greg has provided presentations to more than 800,000 participants at state, national and international events.
Tech, teens and time online
One hour webinar suitable for parents and carers of young people aged 12-18 years old.
7:30 - 8:30pmn Tuesday 23 March 2021
Register at ccsp.catholic.edu.au/webinar
Helping kids thrive online
One hour webinar for parents and carers of children aged 5-12 years old.
12:30 - 1:30pm Thursday 25 March 2021
Register at ccsp.catholic.edu.au/webinar
Visitors to the school and morning arrivals
Thank you to those parents and carers who are following the guidelines regarding visiting the school. It is important that we are following the directions of the Catholic Schools Office to assist in keeping our children safe. Parents are requested not to enter the school site unless they need to visit the front office.
All visitors to the school need to sign in the school office.
If you need your child to be greeted and walked to their classroom by staff and year 6, can you please assist us by using the Turf Street entrances of the school - the main gate or the Kiss and Drop zone.
School fees statements for Term 1 2021 have been emailed out to fee payers. Please contact the school office if you have not received your statement. Fees are to be fully paid before the end of each school year.
Please note: Payment plans are reviewed each year. Families intending to pay weekly or fortnightly; change fee payer details or split fees are requested to contact the school to discuss their payment plan details. The email address is: email@example.com
Due to the current health restrictions, we would like to remind families of the following:
- Students are not permitted to share food at break times. This also includes food items to celebrate birthdays eg cakes, icy poles etc.
- Cake raffles at school will be suspended.
What is The Big Vegie Crunch?
Did you know that only around 6% of Australian children eat enough vegetables? To help our community do their bit to improve this number, our school will be taking part in The Big Vegie Crunch (part of Vegetable Week) at 10am on Thursday 18 March.
Primary schools across NSW will be joining together to break the record for the most students crunching vegetables:
- 50,260 students crunching simultaneously (2018 record)
- 14,991 students crunching at other times over Vegetable Week (2019 record)
What can you do to help?
- Pack a container of vegetables (not fruit this time) for your child to eat on Thursday 18 March.
- Remember to keep serving up the vegetables at home and in your children’s lunchboxes. Check out the UP THE VEG at Home resource for ideas
Regular attendance at school for every student is essential if students are to achieve their potential and increase their career and life options.
Students arriving to school late are signed in at the school office. Office staff will provide the student with a late slip to be given to the classroom teacher.
Students leaving before the last bell will be called to the school office for collection.
Detailed information for changes to attendance are to be provided to staff.
PROCEDURES FOR ABSENT STUDENTS
Planned: Families may provide staff with details concerning planned events beforehand eg medical appointments, allowing the attendance roll to be updated. Documentation is required when students go on extended leave. Please contact the school to arrange the application.
Unplanned: Families may use the skoolbag app to notify the school of an absent student. After the roll is marked by the class teacher an SMS will be sent to the nominated parent. Please reply to the sms with the reason as soon as possible.
Further information: https://bit.ly/2XzEkyt
CODE OF CONDUCT
This Code of Conduct Policy applies to all those employed by the CSO and Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lismore. It outlines the obligations, responsibilities and standard of behaviour required of all employees to uphold the values, integrity and reputation of the Catholic Church, the CSO and all parish schools.
Employees are required to be familiar with the requirements of this document and ensure they comply with the behaviours and obligations outlined within it.
A Code of Conduct applies to students at St Mary's Primary School based on four broad bands:
- SELF RESPONSIBILITY
Children and young people have a fundamental right to grow, develop and feel safe in environments that are free from violence, exploitation and harm. The Catholic Schools Office Lismore has clear expectations that all students in Catholic systemic schools in the Diocese of Lismore will be protected from all forms of harm including sexual, physical and psychological harm as well as ill-treatment and neglect. The Catholic Schools Office and Catholic systemic schools in the Diocese have certain responsibilities and expectations to ensure the safety and protection of children in their care, including supporting measures to ensure that children and young people will be taught how to protect themselves and to seek help if they are concerned about their safety.
Employees are required to be familiar and comply with child protection legislation as varied from time to time, including but not limited to:
● Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)
● Ombudsman Act 1974 (NSW)
● Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
● Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW)
Failure to comply with the child protection responsibilities and obligations required by legislation or the Policy will result in disciplinary action being taken, up to and including immediate termination of employment, termination of contractor agreement, notification to external agencies and/or criminal charges.
An employee who becomes aware of a possible breach of the policy or legislation by another employee must report this to their Principal or Human Services at the Catholic Schools Office. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
Open communication is very important to us. This link outlines the different ways to 'stay in touch' at St Mary's:
If you have a concern please contact your child’s teacher directly. Should you require additional assistance concerning the matter, please make an appointment with the Principal.
Kiss and Drop Zone in Turf Street
Just a reminder that the Kiss and Drop Zone is currently signed as a one minute parking zone. This means that you cannot park your car in the kiss and drop zone for an extended period. The students arrive at Kiss and Drop at 3pm and are supervised in this zone until 3.20pm. Please consider arriving closer to 3pm for collection.
The Kiss and Drop is designed for you to stay in your car while your child enters the car. If your child cannot open the car door and secure their own seatbelt, you need to park your car and walk to the gate to collect your child. The Kiss and Drop Zone does not function effectively and becomes congested if there are any hold ups or delays.
The school does not request the presence of the Grafton Police to manage traffic at the front of the school. However, there is a regular police presence on Turf Street monitoring the safety of the school zone. Please ensure that you adhere to all traffic signs in the area to avoid fines.
Please check out our school Safe Travel webpage that details all the processes for travel to and from school.
Transition to the Schoolzine App
A reminder that we have begun to transition to our new school app hosted by Schoolzine. This app better aligns with our other platforms for our newsletters and school web page.
Below you will find a step-by-step guide for installing the Schoolzine app on your device. When prompted for a passcode please use 2460.
Please contact the office if you require any assistance in setting up the app.