2021 Term 1 Week 6
Dear Parents and Carers,
The Beginning of Year Mass held last week was a chance to welcome the students and commit to a faith-filled year of learning. We are fortunate Fr Joe and Fr Emmanuel are able to celebrate Mass with us each fortnight. Stage groups will attend Mass on a fortnightly basis during the year.
The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) invited our school community to supply artwork created by our students for the purpose of display in CSO offices. The idea is to celebrate the creative talents of our students. The student’s art will be shared nationally in the Student Art on Display catalogue. This catalogue goes to all schools and Parishes in our Diocese and Australian Catholic Schools Offices. We gathered wonderful examples of the student’s work and look forward to seeing reports of where they are displayed. There will be another opportunity to supply artwork later in the year.
Year 1 students had their first excursion of the year to St Mary’s Church, allowing them to familiarise themselves with the symbols and rituals of Baptism which they have been exploring in the Religious Education unit this term.
The Year 6 students and their teachers enjoyed a spirituality day today at McAuley Catholic College. The Incitare Retreat allows the students to build relationships with students from throughout our local area. The students had the chance to talk about and share their faith journey. Thank you to all involved at McAuley College for welcoming our students and teachers.
I would like to remind you that the P&F and Class Parent Meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 March. At this meeting we will be nominating our class parent representatives. You are all welcome to participate and contribute to the diverse conversation which benefits our school. If you are unable to attend in person, please contact the office so we can provide you with details for a Zoom link in.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAYS
MONDAY 19 and TUESDAY 20 APRIL 2021
Welcome to our first term of learning in Kindergarten! The students have been busy settling into the daily life at St Mary’s and have been making new friends, exploring their new learning space and experiencing break times with the rest of the St Mary’s students.
As a part of our English unit ‘Telling stories’, which has a focus on Speaking and Listening, students have had the opportunity to bring home our class pets Stanley and Tabitha to experience two nights at the student’s own home. Once the pets return to school each student can retell the adventures they had with Stanley or Tabitha to the class. We have loved hearing about the experiences and looking forward to everyone having their turn throughout the rest of the term.
During Creative Arts this term, students have been learning about portraits. They are able to explain that a portrait is a picture of a person. Kindergarten are becoming mini artists themselves and creating self portraits which explores what makes them unique and special. They are also engaging in activities of mixing primary colours to create secondary colours.
Kindergarten has been lucky enough to participate in coaching sessions with Wazza from NSW NRL for sport this term. During these sessions students have been learning the basic skills and concepts of rugby league in a non-contact, safe environment. The students have been enjoying the game-based activities that build on fundamental movement skills, are fun and engaging, while promoting the benefits of being physically active and enjoying learning new skills with their classmates.
In Religion, we have been engaging in prayer routines with a focus on learning the Sign of the Cross, exploring the school environment for religious objects and introducing the sacred prayer place in our classroom. Students have also been participating reverently in our meditation routine after lunch. Kindergarten students have taken this opportunity to engage in prayer and be still for a short time in their busy day!
Project Compassion – Be More
Throughout the Lenten season, the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal takes place. Donations to Project Compassion allow 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, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion. There are a number of Project Compassion boxes at school for student donations or you can donate online via the Caritas Australia website at: www.lent.caritas.org.au
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
On Wednesday 17th March, the whole school will head over the McAuley Catholic College to hold our Cross Country Running Carnival with St. Joseph's. This will, unfortunately, be a closed event due to the COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines still being enforced by Catholic Schools.
Students will spend the day at McAuley so will need to ensure they have a fully packed lunch (they will not be able to use the canteen on the day), hat and drink bottle.
We will ensure that we post plenty of photos and videos throughout the day to keep you all up to date with the events of the day.
If you did not receive the note that was sent home this week, please see the front office.
Congratulations Georgia and Stella for representing not only our school but the Clarence Zone at the Lismore Diocesan Swimming carnival last Friday. Both girls swam extremely well, beating their PB's in the 50m freestyle and placing fourth in their races. Well done girls on a fabulous effort!
CanDo Cancer Trust 2021
This wonderful event with take place on Saturday, March 27. We currently have 2 student teams and 1 teacher team participating this year.
If you or your child are interested in joining us, please email me (email@example.com) for more information.
Daily Examiner Hockey
Students have been enjoying participating at Daily Examiner Hockey with some great games being played by all. With one more week left I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the parents who helped with the running and organisation of the teams this year. Without you, this event would not be able to take place.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Below is an article that is a great short read for those of you with boys in years 5 or 6.
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 schoolzine 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: https://bit.ly/2RlDSBp
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.
Further information: https://bit.ly/2yERBNZ https://bit.ly/3dcEORY
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.