The School Newsletter Week 5, Term 2 2021

What's Coming Up?

  • Wed 19 May: Meeting to vote on P&F or PEG model
  • Wed 26 May: P&F Meeting via zoom
  • Fri 28 May: School Athletics Carnival - (details inside newsletter)


From the Principal

This weekend we will celebrate the feast of Pentecost. Following Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples were still uncertain of his message. They lost hope and, in fear, they locked themselves in a room. Without entering through the door, Jesus appeared before them with a greeting of peace and a mission to spread the Good News. The disciple, Thomas, was not in the room. When he learned of Jesus’ visit, he would not believe it. But about a week later, Jesus appeared in a similar way and Thomas was with the others. Jesus invited Thomas to touch the wounds in his hands and side. Thomas knew immediately that it was Jesus, and he believed.

Parents are often the source of hope and encouragement for their children. When a child falls repeatedly while learning to walk or ride a bike, it is a parent who coaxes, encourages and praises the child. Parents provide hope and comfort when a child falls short of a goal either in academics, relationships, sports or the arts. Parents can relate to the role of Jesus with his disciples. They were frightened and discouraged but they found hope and relief with the peace and presence of Jesus.

With your family, share ideas about people in the world or your community who might be discouraged. Suggest ways either in prayer or by action that your family might bring hope to these people.

Discussion starters

I remember once I was really discouraged but I found peace when . . .

  • I was a source of peace for someone when . . .
  • I can relate to the “doubting” Thomas, but I have learned . . .
  • You might also like to view this short clip with your children: ‘Pentecost Explained In Lego’.

Have a good week.

Peter Green



Our annual school athletics carnival will be held on Friday next week (28th May 2021) at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Centre, 120 Smith Street, Newcastle West. It is an all-weather track.

  • All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 will be attending the carnival.
  • The students will be transported to the venue by bus, departing from the school at 9:15am and returning by 2:55pm.
  • The carnival will commence at 10:00am. The students will rotate around six stations in their age groups and will participate in running races, long jump, shot put and novelty events.
  • The students will wear their sport uniform, but are welcome to wear a T-shirt in their house colour. (Blue, Gold or Green)
  • There will be no canteen facilities available. The students will need to bring:
  1. Morning Tea
  2. Lunch
  3. Water
  4. Hat
  5. Sunscreen
  • At the conclusion of the carnival, parents and carers are welcome to take their children straight home from the venue, but the students must be signed out by the class teacher before leaving. – only one bus has been booked for return to school.
  • For the carnival to run smoothly, we need volunteers. If you are a registered volunteer (i.e. you have completed the registration process), please respond with your availability and preferred duty using this link. Please reply before Wednesday next week (25th May).

Volunteer Registration Process

If you are not yet registered to volunteer, please read the volunteer handbook and return the following forms to the school office:

  1. Registration form (page 16)
  2. Volunteer policy declaration (page 20)
  3. Code of conduct declaration (page 25)
  4. Statutory screening selection tool (page 26) and, if required, the Working with Children Check Clearance (page 27).

When the above forms have been sent to the Catholic Schools Office, you will be sent a National Criminal History Check to complete. This will be sent to you via email from VerifyNow and must be completed within 5 days of receiving the email. Please also note that the process for registration can take longer than 1 week.



Last Sunday was the Feast of the Ascension. During the reading of Sunday’s Gospel, we heard the words:

“The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee to meet Jesus. He said, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved and they will be given the power to perform miracles.” After he said this, Jesus was taken up to heaven. The disciples preached everywhere, the Lord worked with them and miracles were performed.”

Jesus gave his followers an important last message: “Go! Make disciples!” Some people think that this call to mission is only for religious brothers, sisters and priests. However, Jesus calls us all to be missionaries. He wants all of his followers to share his message of love with others. This week I challenge everyone to share the spirit of Jesus with one another in the ways that they interact. The simple actions of a friendly greeting, polite manners and a nice smile is enough to demonstrate that the Spirit is alive and active within each of us.

As a family, you may like to share this prayer: “Lord Jesus, give us the courage to go out into the world and share your love with everyone we meet. Amen.”

Daniel Lockwood

Religious Education Coordinator



Yesterday, Fire and Rescue NSW (the “Townies”) and the Rural Fire Service (the “Bushies”) visited our school to teach the students about fire safety, as well as the important work undertaken by the Townies and the Bushies. They covered important topics that included:

  1. Fire safety around the home
  2. Smoke alarms
  3. Having a plan of escape from your home
  4. Preparing your home for a bushfire
  5. What to do in case of a fire
  6. Fire safety equipment that all homes should have

The students inspected the equipment that the fire trucks carry. Thanks to Steve Watt and the Townies and Bushies who came to the school to impart this important information. Each student was given a Fire and Rescue Activity Book. We encourage the parents and carers to work through these activities with your children.



Come in and collect an enrolment pack from the School Office or download one from the school website! And, don't forget to tell your friends!



Last Friday we participated in “Walk Safely to School Day”, an annual event in which all primary school students are encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It is a community event that aims to promote road safety, health, public transport and the environment. Sixty-two students and many staff members, parents and carers met at Swansea Heads to walk safely to school. We had beautiful weather for the morning and all the students walked in a safe manner, enjoying discussions with their peers and some gentle physical activity at the same time. Thank you to the parents, carers and staff members who joined us for our leisurely stroll to school.

Daniel Lockwood



We wish Ben Mc (Year 6) all the very best at the NSW PSSA State Hockey Championships, which are to be held at the Newcastle International Hockey Centre on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week. Ben will be representing Polding. We are very thrilled that Ben is playing at this elite level, and we look forward to letting you know the outcome of the tournament.



Successful Foundations is an action research project which supports the positive transition to school of Kindergarten children. St Patrick’s joined the project this year, along with 12 other schools in the diocese.

Successful Foundations provides open-ended play for children’s learning and wellbeing in the first hour of the day over the first five weeks of Kindergarten. It provides children with the opportunity to actively demonstrate their funds of knowledge, to build relationships and to become familiar with the context of the school. It also provides teachers with the time and opportunity to develop meaningful relationships as they observe and interact with the competent, creative and capable child.

How did the project help the Kindergarten children of 2021 at St Patrick’s? Successful Foundations was embraced by the Kindergarten students this year. The first hour of play helped to calm the nerves of the children and it allowed me to spend quality time with each child throughout the first five weeks. I was able to observe the children playing and to discover all the wonderful things about them. I felt that I knew the children so much better this year than in previous years, because of this precious hour each morning.

Last Wednesday, Peter Green and I met with principals and Kindergarten teachers from the other schools who participated in the project, It was an opportunity to share the wonderful successes of the project. Each school shared a presentation which included photos, drawings and ‘the voice of the child’. I have set up a display in the foyer which includes some of this documentation. Please come and have a look next time you are in the school. We look forward to many more Successful Foundations transitions for future Kindergarten students at our beautiful school.

Liz Walker

Kindergarten teacher


Canteen Roster

The Canteen is desperately in need of volunteers this term. If you are a registered volunteer and able to offer some of your time, please contact Belinda Newell.


Thank you

We recently reported to you that our Parents and Friends Association recently transferred $10,000 into our school account. Following on form that donation, we have recently been given another $8000 from the P&F. We are very grateful for the financial support that we receive from our community of parents and carers. As I recently informed you, these donations have been used to purchase seven interactive touchscreens which will replace the interactive whiteboards in the classrooms.



On 31st March, Cath Garrett-Jones, Family Engagement Officer at the Catholic Schools Office, addressed a small group of parents and carers about an alternative model of engaging parents and carers in the school. If you would like to read more about the two options available – P&F Association or PEG (Parent Engagement Group) – click here.

Tomorrow evening (Wednesday 19th May), you will have the opportunity to vote for your preferred model of parent engagement. The meeting is scheduled to run from 7.30pm to 8.15pm in the school library.

A letter was recently sent to all parents through Compass, giving further details. If you have any queries about this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Peter Green.


P&F Meeting

The next meeting of the P&F will take place on Wednesday next week (26th May). Please note that the P&F meetings will now begin at 7.30pm - one hour later than we used to begin the meetings. The meeting will take place via Zoom, and it has been scheduled to run for 1½ hours. Meeting via Zoom will enable you to contribute your ideas without leaving home.

If you plan to attend next week’s meeting:

  1. Make sure you have downloaded Zoom to your device.
  2. Use this link or copy it into your search bar: https://mncatholic.zoom.us/j/98313954923
  3. Click on ‘Open Zoom meetings’.
  4. Click on ‘Join with computer audio’.
  5. Click on ‘Start video’.
  6. If you are prompted to type a password, the password is 667211.

Please consider joining us next week to support the work of our Parents and Friends Association.







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