Newsletter 14th June 2023
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.
19th June: School Excurison Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre
21st June: Healthy Harold and Life education van @ St Brendan's
23rd June: Last day term 2
11th July: Students commence Term 3 classes
10th July: Term 3 starts; Pupil-free day; Staff Professional Development Day
12th & 13th July: Combined Schools' Days at St Brendan's (note additional day for School Review)
As it is now Week 8, this will be our final newsletter for the week. Next week is the last week of Term 2 and the holidays will provide an opportunity to rest, relax and for many to get well as we continue to manage with a number of staff and children that are unwell.
Hopefully some of you will find some sun somewhere. Whatever you are doing, enjoy!!
I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support of myself and the staff particularly over the Term as we navigate the situation with the future of our schools. It has raised a whole host of emotions for all of us as we make decisions that are well informed, considerate and mindful of all involved.
Take care and go gently as we approach the end of the term.
There has been so much to celebrate in the past few weeks.
Our Senior boys and girls joined with St. Patrick’s Gordon and St. Brigid’s Ballan to make teams that participated in the Primary Sovereign division or football and netball. I was lucky enough to attend each day and see our children win the grand final of both events. I was very proud of the way the children played with courage and determination, as well as good sportsmanship and inclusivity. Just another way to show that our schools are capable of doing amazing things. A huge thanks to Callum and Eleanor that helped out with the coaching and to the parents that supported the children each day.
Our Year 6 children had their second LFBF day at Ballan and the Year 5 girls attended Loreto for their SEED (Secondary Experience Day) at Loreto.
Teachers are currently assessing for report writing and many children have made great growth in learning.
Individual children are also shining in their out of school activities, such as netball, footy, dance, athletics and other areas that we are not always aware off.
Well done everyone!!
At St. Brendan’s and St. Mary’s we encourage all to learn and grow to reach fullness of life. That also includes our staff. In the past few weeks, a number of teachers have been doing Professional Development to continually learn and build their knowledge and skills. Clare has had a Maths Day, Jenny, Majella and myself have been part of Structured Literacy days, Callum a Learning Diversity day, Louise has joined with other RE leaders and in the next few weeks our Admin staff are attending a 2 day conference to upskill in the area of finance and administration tasks. On the first day of term 3, all staff will continue with the ReLATE journey that we began last year. This will be a school closure day for the children.
It is important that we stay up to date and continue to learn so that our children can benefit.
Many of you are aware that every 5 years we are required to do a school review. It is a time to celebrate our successes, evaluate what we have done and plan forward for the next 5 years.
All of the report and data has been collated and the final step is to have an external reviewer and panel visit our schools and finalise our priorities for the future. This involves 2 days and will take in the first week of Term 3 – Thursday the 13th and Friday the 14th of July. As all staff, some children and parents are involved I have decided that for convenience we will have an extra CSD that week. Week 1 of Term 3 will look like this
- Monday – Closure Day. Staff at ReLATE PD
- Tuesday – as normal
- Wednesday – CSD at St. Brendan’s as normal
- Thursday – An additional CSD at St. Brendan’s for school review
- Friday – CSD at St. Mary’s as normal.
As always, please see me if this causes an issue or does not work for you. Staff are more than happy to help out with transport.
Parents for School Review
I am seeking some parents for the school review on Thursday the 13th of July at 2.30 for about 30 minutes. It simply means having a group conversation about our school. We will have an SB and a SM group. It would be great to have at least 3 parents in each group. Please let me know if you can help out. It will be at SB as this is the day we are having our additional CSD day and will be just before pick up time. Thank you.
Child Safety – eSmart week
Part of our efforts to keep our children safe at school, is teaching them to be safe online. While we address this throughout the year, last week was a specific week dedicated to this called eSmart week. The children did a number of activities that focused on the theme- “Be your best self online”,
Across the week students were encouraged to explore topics such as:
- What you can do and say to be positive online
- How algorithms, echo chambers and customised messaging impact our view of the world
- How to use technology purposefully
- How to use your agency to influence change in the online environment
Jenny who is our eSmart coordinator across the schools also filled in a survey about what we do and teach. While the results say St. Mary’s, the results are across both schools but under one name. The results are very impressive. Well done everyone!!
On the last day of term, Friday the 23rd of June, there will be a combined assembly that all are welcome to attend. It will begin at 12.15pm at St. Mary’s. Our assemblies are opportunities for our children to share their learning with others and gain confidence in talking and presenting to an audience.
Following the assembly, parents are invites to take the children home at 1 pm for lunch and to begin the term break.
Cuppa and catch up
I invite all parents to join us in the kitchen at St Mary's before pick up on Friday, the 16th June for a cuppa and chat. It will be a great opportunity to meet our new mums at St Mary's and a chance to catch up with each other. Please feel welcome to come.
This week’s focus phoneme is the oo/u sound as in book and bull. After brainstorming for words that contained this phoneme the students each wrote a sentence containing the words book and bull.
Lucy - I didn’t see a fat bull reading a book about a strong bull and he wished he was strong like his book.
Aiden - I saw a fat bull riding a fish in a dam reading a book.
This week we are very excited to be reading an information text titled What is a Bird of Prey? We are learning lots of interesting information about different types of birds. Here are three interesting facts we found after reading the book for the first time. Did you know….
- Bald eagles aren’t really bald. They have white feathers on their head and they only look bald.
- People train falcons to knock other smaller birds out of the sky so the people can eat the smaller birds.
- Vultures are good scavengers because they can smell dead animals from a long distance away.
We have continued on with multiplication and division and recently we have been working on some Open-ended tasks. An open-ended task has more than one solution. Here are some of the problems we have been working on…. How many different answers can you come up with?
I have a 30 piece block of chocolate. What might my block of chocolate look like?
When the children in the class got into groups of 4 there was 1 child left over. How many children might there be in the class?
NAIDOC WEEK and NARANA EXCURSION
NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week occurs each year in July, and celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year's theme is For Our Elders. NAIDOC Week will be celebrated across the nation, during the school holidays, from Sunday July 2nd - Sunday July 9th. On Monday we are very fortunate to be going on an excursion to Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Grovedale. 'Narana' means a deep listening and understanding. Their vision is to promote Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people by developing a better understanding of culture through community connections. We look forward to learning more about the First Nations cultures so we too can walk the path of Reconciliation.
Seniors have been working tirelessly on their inquiry projects in the past fortnight. Their dioramas are looking fantastic, we have been very impressed with the creativity and teamwork being displayed on Combined Schools Day. Students are looking forward to sharing their hard work with you at assembly next week.
In writing we have been covering a few different types of texts. The 3/4‘s have continued their work on effective advertising, creating new ads for exciting products while the 6’s have been focussing on posters created during WWII.
We have also been working on information reports and learning about the features that need to be included on an information report. This week we have been looking at a variety of topics and using a checklist to tick off all of the features the text includes. This work will help the students develop their informative text about their inquiry topic and ensure they have included all the necessary features to make a presentable and informative piece of writing.
The class completed a task around identifying features of an information report by highlighting key parts with a text. This included identifying sub-headings, language of generalisation, description and comparison/contrast. The 3/4‘s read about Extreme Environments and were required to complete a Venn Diagram comparing Tundras and Deserts while the 6’s learned about the world's five oceans.
- Jai learned that the temperature in tundra changes quite a bit between seasons going from 12 degrees (celcius) to as cold as minus 30! He also learned that deserts change drastically within 24 hours, going from 40 degrees during the day to as low as 0 overnight.
- Sophie learned that deserts are usually located close to the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn and tundras are found in high mountains or north of the Arctic Circle.
- Lucy learned that Coelacanth (an ancient fish) thought to be extinct was rediscovered in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. She also learned that in order to help large ships navigate the Arctic Ocean they use icebreaker ships to pave a way through the sheets of ice.
Sensory Sanctuary Neurodiversity Festival
With the school holidays just around the corner, we would love to invite you to our Neurodiversity Festival. It is a first for Victoria and likely Australia. With over 30 events on offer, we aim to bring the Autistic and neurodivergent community together to build community and better quality of life. Events can be paid for with NDIS funding.
Please use the link below to find out more information.
Child Safe – all on website
As is stated on our Vision and Mission, our schools ‘…are committed to the safety, wellbeing and inclusion of all children and young people.’ Our procedures and policies are now in line with the 11 child safe standards and can be found on our schools’ websites under the tab – child safe.