Newsletter 16th November 2022
In the spirit of Reconciliation, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land in which we sit, the Wadawurrung people, who have cared for this country for thousands of years. We would like to pay our respects to the Aboriginal Elders past, present and future for they hold the traditions, memories and wisdom of Mother Earth on which we place our feet upon today.
18th, 25th Nov, 2nd & 9th December: Combined Schools Day @ St Brendan's
17th November: Junior sleepover and stayback
22nd November: 7.00 pm AGM
24th November: Little Feet Big Footprints Year 6 program
29th November: Year 6 orientation Catholic secondary schools
Going Up day for students
6th December: 6.00 pm Graduation end of year mass
14th December: End of year school excursion. Extreme bounce and waterpark
16th December: Last day of school for students
30th January 2023: Students first day of school
Over the past few weeks, we have been made aware of a number of families in our school communities are experiencing some challenging times due to sickness and loved ones that have passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is facing difficult times.
Each day I realise that so many people are going through so much. Being grateful for what we have every day, even the smallest of things, can sometimes put what is going on around us in perspective.
No assessment days end of the year or first day back
In previous years we have had a day at the end of the year and one at the start of the following year to do some assessments with children individually to find out the children’s progress. Last year, schools were informed that this was no longer allowed and that schools would work to do assessments based on a plan that worked for them. Therefore, children will not be required to come in for these individual times and that teachers will do the necessary tasks within school hours.
End of the year
The end of the year is fast approaching. Remember to keep consulting the calendar for school events that are happening and please keep up us to date if your child is going to be away for any reason, or if there are things are happening at home that teachers may need to be aware of. For some children, a change of routine can be challenging and we will do our best to keep things as ‘ normal’ and calm as possible. We are also noticing that a number of children are unwell with colds, hay fever and gastro. Please keep sick children home or let the teachers know if they require medication or just a bit of extra TLC. Parents need to fill out a medical permission form if medicines need to administered at school.
Stay well everyone.
Go gently during this busy time,
Thank you to those that could attend our final community meeting with Tony Dalton yesterday. I realise that meetings are often difficult to attend and I am happy to hear your thought if you want to email, ring or have a chat. All ideas are valued and considered. I am meeting with Tom Sexton on Thursday and will have a conversation with him about the options we have come up with and discuss what support we may need moving forward.
Tony, Tom and I will come up with a plan to move forward soon and it will be shared with all families.
Dates for next year
It is that time of the year where we beginning planning for 2023. We have already locked some dates in, one of which is our swimming program which will begin on Friday the 24th of February for 5 weeks. Next year we are going to do a gymnastics lesson at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre alongside the swimming for the duration of the program.
As we plan further for 2023, the dates will go in the public calendar as soon as possible.
SAVE THE DATE – Camp for our Year 3 – 6 children is happening early on in the year. Our children will experience camp with the children from St. Michael’s Creswick and will be at Campaspe Downs in the Macedon Ranges from Monday the 6th of March until Wednesday the 8th. More information will follow early 2023.
End of year masses and Graduation
These dates are in the calendar and always a wonderful celebration of the end of the year and to send forth our Year 6s. I encourage everyone to come together to attend the Mass and graduation ceremony. It is another opportunity to spend time as a school community.
Catherine King award
After some consideration, I have decided not to continue presenting the Catherine King award at the end of the year. It is not always visible to everyone how people contribute and what they do in and for our schools. Some parents are on the SAC or P and F, others quickly jump in to do a one- off job when I ask, others do lots of PR things, some make very generous contributions by donations and so on. It is my belief that all families make contribute and help in the best way they can and together we work for our children to make our schools the best places we can.
LFBF program change of date to 24th November
Today we were going to have our final day to the Year 6 Little Feet Big Footprints program. Due to the weather, this will be postponed until Thursday the 24th November. This will give our Year 6 children a chance to reconnect with friends before the Secondary School orientation days on Tuesday the 29th of November.
We are thrilled to inform parents that this program will continue next year for our 2023 Year 6 students.
Annual General Meetings
St. Mary’s had their AGM last night. Thank you to all that could make it.
Next Tuesday we will have the St. Brendan’s AGM at school, starting at 7pm. All are welcome.
Authority for student's photo permission and ICT permission for 2023
Moving into 2023 the student photo and recording permission and the student ICT permission will be through the PAM account. When we rollover the PAM accounts at the end of the semster you will receive an email. Before your child starts school in 2023 all health details will need to be completed. Asthma plans will need to be uploaded and any anaphylaxis documents.
The student ICT permission form will need to be authorised by a parent before students can use computer equipment. Also the student photo permission will need to be authorised or delcined.
You will no longer receive these documents to parents in paper form at the start of the school year.
Please contact the office if you have any questions.
Junior Stayback and Year 2 Sleepover
The day is nearly here – the long anticipated Junior Stay back and Year 2 Sleepover is happening this week! The children are very excited and the teachers can’t wait. Providing the children with an experience like this promotes resilience, confidence, cooperation, tolerance and independence in a supportive and caring environment. It is also a great way to ‘pave the way’ for the camps which are held for students in Years 3 – 6.
This should be a really positive experience for the children, so please discuss the sleepover with your child and try to allay any concerns he/she may have. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher if you have any concerns or questions about the night.
Thank you to the staff who give up their family time to be with our students for the night. While many may think it is part of a teachers job to do out of school hours tasks, it is done without extra pay and often they come in on days they do not work to be with the children for a particular special event.
Asking about your child day
So often we hear that when parents ask their children about their day at school, the child may answer with ‘nothing’ or focus on a part of the day that was a bit challenging, even if most of the day went very well.
As I was scrolling through my photos, I came across this and thought it was worth sharing.
Supervision of children before and after school
While many staff members come to school early in the morning and stay for some time after school for meetings and to prepare work, official supervision of children begins at 8.45am and finishes at 15 minutes after official finish time – 3.30 for St. Mary’s students and 3.45 pm for St. Brendan’s. Staff are timetabled for these 15 minutes to do yard duty. While we understand that sometimes parents get held up after school, it is appreciated that a phone call is made to let teachers know so that they can tell the children what is happening. If children arrive to school earlier than 8.45, they will be required to sit quietly in a designated area until 8.45am when a teacher will be on duty. No children should be arriving to school before 8.30am. Please talk to me if this is an issue or needs clarifying.
CSD – change to St. Brendan’s
Next Friday we are will be returning to St. Brendan’s for our final 4 combined school days.
Thank you again to parents for supporting us to make these days happen.
Just a reminder regarding school fees. As per our School Fees Policy all school fees must be finalised by the 30th November of the current school year. If you are experiencing difficulty in managing your school fees please make an appointment to discuss with Inez. Outstanding fees statements will be emailed today.
We have been very lucky to have Kaitlyn Gatacre from Australian Catholic University working with us for the past 3 weeks. Sadly, this Friday is Kaitlyn's last day at St Brendan's. We hope Kaitlyn has enjoyed her time working with the Juniors and wish her all the very best as she continues her teaching course. Who knows, maybe one day we will see her back at St Brendan's!
In Maths we have been looking at data. Most of us thought that data was what you had on your phone but with Kaitlyn's help, we discovered that data is the word used to describe any kind of information that has been collected and can be analysed. After asking the seniors what their favourite playground equipment was and looking closely at the data we found, we then had to come up with a topic which we would like to investigate. Each of us came up with a question and 4 or 5 options. Next we will be graphing the information we have collected and analysing our results. Here are our topics:
Preston - Favourite cake flavour.
Lucy - Favourite pizza topping.
Aiden - Favourite pasta.
Billy - Favourite meal.
Sophie - Favourite ice cream flavour
Adele - Favourite dessert.
We all felt hungry after listening to all the delicious options.
Next year we welcome Kingston to Foundation at our school. Kingston has begun his transition to St Brendan's by visiting the Junior class for 2 mornings. The Year 2s are very excited about beginning their transition into the Senior class too.
This term we have been looking at hte topic 'Then and Now.' We were very fortunate to launch this with our Grandparents Day earlier this term. The questionnaires the grandparents filled out really helped us understand what life was like in the past. This week we have been looking at activities children did in the past. We made tin can phones, a ball and cup, played clapping games and tried to push a hoop around the basketball court using a stick. It was so much fun!