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The School Newsletter Week 5, Term 4 2021

From the Principal

Yesterday was the Feast of All Saints. During weekdays throughout the year, the Church honours and remembers people who have been canonised as saints because they responded to the love of God by living their lives in the service of others. However, St Paul, in many of his letters in the Bible, calls the ‘ordinary’ Christians, like ourselves, ‘saints’. So, in the early Church, anyone who believed that Jesus is the Son of God, and who did their best to live and love like Him, was known as a saint. It was only much later that the church began to apply the term ‘Saint’ solely to those who had died but who lived especially good lives while they lived.

The day before All Saints Day is called Halloween - the Eve of All Saints - but that is the only Christian element in it. All the rest that accompanies Halloween is of pagan origin, so it goes back to the time before Christianity. It was a pagan Celtic feast. They believed that after sunset on Halloween, the spirits of the dead and evil spirits roamed the skies seeking to harm humans, especially if the dead had been harmed by them. For protection, people disguised themselves by dressing up in costumes and carried lights inside in turnips. In order to counteract the pagan feast, the Catholic Church placed the feast of All Saints on 1st November.

While Halloween is a lot of fun, it would be a shame if children did not know the Christian element of this feast - the feast of All Saints. If your children are celebrating Halloween, and they know nothing about All Saints, this would be a good time to explain All Saints to them.

Have a good week.

Peter Green

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Covid Cases and School Closures

As many of you would be aware, there has been several local school closures in the past week due to Covid-19 positive cases in the communities.

We certainly hope that St Patrick’s can continue to operate throughout the remainder of the term and are doing our utmost to ensure the best possible precautions are in place to protect students and staff.

We would be grateful for your help in taking care in the community to follow the rules and to reiterate with your children the importance of hand hygiene during this period. The school bathrooms have now been installed with air dryers for hands, and all classes have ample supply of sanitiser in place. We also ask you not to send your child to school if they are unwell or have even the slightest of symptoms, and you are required to provide a negative test result prior to returning.

Unfortunately, if your child is deemed a close contact on or after the 10th of December, they would have to be in isolation for Christmas and we know that nobody wants that to happen!

NSW Health have prepared a range of factsheets to answer questions about self-isolation and what to do if you or your child are identified as a close or casual contact.

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FEAST OF ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS’ DAY

Yesterday we celebrated All Saints Day, a day on which we thank God for the example that we have been given by all saints – including those who are canonised and those good people in our lives who live saintly lives. Today - All Souls Day - we pray for our loved ones who have died. Indeed, November is a profoundly hopeful month during which we recall that, when Jesus conquered death, he made it possible for all of us to live a New Life after we die. During this month, take the opportunity to pray for your loved ones who are no longer with us.

Daniel Lockwood (Religious Education Coordinator)

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REWARDING GOOD BEHAVIOUR AT ST PATRICK’S

In line with our Pastoral Care and Discipline Policy, each teacher is allocated a budget at the beginning of each term for rewarding appropriate behavioural choices. Each teacher has negotiated the goals and the rewards with their students. In order to be rewarded, each student must meet the goals set by their teacher. It may be necessary to exclude a student from a special treat or reward if they fail to meet the goals that the teacher sets.

The Term 4 incentives that apply to each class are as follows:

Kindergarten

Kindergarten will have a tiered reward system:

  • Individual rewards for appropriate behaviour will be Gotchas. Ten Gotchas = a prize box dip.
  • Group rewards: Groups earn dollar coins for being organised (e.g. tidy table and being ready to listen and learn). At the end of each week, the table with the most money will have extra recess time or 10 minutes of iPad time.
  • Class rewards: We have a class jar which the students place pompoms into as they display appropriate behaviour. If the class can fill the pompom jar, the students will be treated to a class party and an out-of-uniform day. However, any student who is issued with two Major Behaviour Notifications during the term will be excluded from the party and the out-of-uniform day.

Year 1

  • Year 1 has developed our class rules, consequences, and rewards using the school rules of being safe, respectful and responsible at all times. The students will move their name peg up or down the Superhero Scale during the day, based on their willingness and ability to follow the class rules. If they reach the lowest level (‘Consequence’), they will be issued with a Minor Behaviour Notification. If they reach the highest level (‘Superhero’), they will receive two Gotchas at the end of the day.
  • If a student is issued with two Major Behaviour Notifications during the term, they will be excluded from the end of term class reward.

Our class reward system is tiered.

  • 10 Individual Gotcha’s = a dip in the prize box.
  • End of the week prize draw: 2 winners = 15 minutes free time on Monday
  • 50 Gotchas individual = 30 minutes free play
  • Class reward for 350 Gotchas = End of term out-of-uniform day, watch a movie and enjoy hot chips and a lolly bag.

Year 2

The Year 2 students have collaborated on a set of class agreements based on being a learner, being safe, being respectful and being responsible. Our reward system for adhering to our class agreements and displaying exemplary behaviour and attitude is as follows:

Each student has the opportunity to earn dollar coins (printed) for exemplary behaviour and attitude, encompassing our class agreements. At the end of each week, the students will fill in their ‘wallet’ sheet, adding up how much money they have earned and how much more money they need to ‘buy’ their reward.

The individual rewards are:

  • $5: Prize box ‘raffle’ ticket. Even though dollars are cumulative, any student who earns $5 or more in any given week will be entered into that week’s prize draw.
  • $10: Sit at the teacher’s desk or iPad time.
  • $20: Prize box.
  • $50: Early mark and a certificate.

Each class also has a class wallet for which dollars are earned, based on whole class behaviour. The class wallet is added up each week.

Class rewards are:

  • $25: Ice block treat
  • $50: Picnic afternoon
  • $75: Cooking afternoon
  • $100: Movie and pyjama party

Year 3

The Year 3 students are working towards an end-of-year party with their choice of movies, games or BYO devices. In order to achieve this, the Year 3 students will be required to:

  • Follow our class rules.
  • Undertake random acts of kindness.
  • Be productive workers in class.
  • Be organised workers.

These will be rewarded with class dollars. The class party will go ahead if the class can earn 300 class dollars.

Any student who is issued with 3 majors during the term will not be eligible for this reward.

Class rules:

  • Listen to others when they are speaking to the class.
  • Be kind to others by following the “10 ways to a kind classroom” poster in the classroom.
  • Be ready to learn.
  • Respect the noise level. (0 = no noise; 1 = whispering to the person next to you; 2 = talking at your table; 4 = loud noise).
  • Be safe, be respectful and be responsible in the classroom, with a particular focus on looking after the classroom furniture and moving around slowly and safely.
  • Focus on your own work.

Rewards

  • $5: Song on the class playlist
  • $10: Ten minutes of free time
  • $15: Job switch
  • $20: Sit at Mr Fox’s desk for a session
  • $25: 20 minutes on Chromebook / Free time
  • $30: Be the teacher for a session
  • $35: Prize box
  • $40: Award

Consequences

  • Lose class dollars.
  • Class clean-up duty.
  • Time off the field.
  • Recess with Mr Fox.
  • Temporary exclusion from the classroom.
  • No class party: Three Major notifications during the term will lead to exclusion from the class party.

Year 4

The Year 4 students will work towards a movie day, where they will be invited to wear their pyjamas to school, bring pillows and blankets, watch a movie and have a sausage sizzle lunch.

To earn this reward, the students will have a class jar to which a pompom will be added whenever they, as a class, succeed to meet behavioural goals.

Any student who receives two Major Behaviour Notifications during the term will be excluded from the reward.

Our class reward system is tiered:

  • Individual rewards: Gotchas.
  • Group rewards: Group points and a weekly prize.
  • Class rewards: Pompom jar / Movie day.

Year 5

The Year 5 students have asked for a BBQ picnic at a park and an out-of-uniform day. This may not be possible, due to COVID restrictions, so Plan B is for a pizza party, a session of riding bikes and scooters at school, and a movie in the afternoon.

In order to receive this award students must:

  • Follow the class rules and school rules.
  • Be respectful and helpful towards peers and teachers.
  • When a student is following these rules, they may be invited to place a pompom into the class party jar. If the jar is full at the end of the term, the students will receive their class reward.
  • If a student receives a Major Behaviour Notification throughout the term, they will not be permitted to participate in the reward day.

Year 6

Expectations relating to the behaviour of Year 6 students are based on the established St Patrick’s school rules - Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible - and the co-constructed Year 6 classroom rules. Each rule has a focus on how student leaders must act as role models for younger students.

This term, Year 6 would like an out-of-uniform day with water activities and snacks.

  • To earn the Class Reward, Year 6 will be required to earn 50 class points.
  • To earn these class points, each student has a reward chart on which they record marks/stamps for positive behaviour.
  • For every 5 marks the student receives a Gotcha.
  • For every 10 marks they receive a class point.
  • For each student to be eligible to receive the class reward they must contribute at least 2 points to the class total.
  • If a student does not earn their minimum 2 points, or if they receive a Major Behaviour Notification throughout the term, they will not be eligible for the reward.
  • Students can also earn personal rewards through the use of the Gotcha reward system. They may exchange Gotcha tickets for personal rewards.

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YEAR 6 GRADUATION

There will be a graduation ceremony for the Year 6 students on Tuesday 14th December at 10.00am. Due to current COVID restrictions, we are unable to provide all of the details yet because restrictions may change before that date. However, it is our intention at this stage to invite the Year 6 parents and carers to this event. We will update you with the arrangements as soon as possible.

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CONGRATULATIONS EGAN

We congratulate Egan (Kindergarten) on having won the first prize – a $100 gift card – for his entry in a colouring competition organised by Newcastle Transport.

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CONGRATULATIONS LAYLA, ABBY AND TEDDY

Last weekend, Layla W, Abby B and Teddy B participated in the 7 (Swansea) Bridges challenge alongside children and parents representing the 1st Belmont Scout group. Both Layla & Teddy completed the full 28-kilometre walk which involved walking a route which took them across the Swansea Bridge seven times! Abby walked an impressive 15 kilometres. What an outstanding effort! The 7 (Swansea) Bridges challenge raised $827.00 for the Cancer Council. If you would like to support this fundraising effort, go to https://www.7bridgeswalk.com.au/fundraisers/1stbelmontscoutgroup/. Congratulations to everybody from the 1st Belmont Scout Group . . . especially Layla, Abby and Teddy.

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Parent Engagement GROUP

Our next PEG Meeting will be held on Wednesday 17 November. It will have as it's educative component a session on 'Teaching Mathematics', presented by Ben McCarthy and Daniel Lockwood.

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CANTEEN OPEN ON FRIDAYS

We still require volunteers for the canteen to open. Please message Belinda Sneesby Newell. Requirements for volunteers are as follows:

  • Must have clearance from the cso to volunteer,
  • must be double vaxxed and
  • must wear mask and gloves for the entire time in the canteen.

Canteen Roster

  • CAN YOU VOLUNTEER THIS FRIDAY?
  • WITHOUT A THIRD VOLUNTEER WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO OPEN
CAN YOU VOLUNTEER THIS FRIDAY? WITHOUT A THIRD VOLUNTEER WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO OPEN

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WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK - Due date extended

The Catholic Schools Office has extended the due date for completion of the community consultation survey. The survey is now open until Friday 12th November. The survey is anonymous, voluntary and easy to use. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and covers people’s perceptions of the school’s support for learning, positive behaviours, and the promotion of safety and inclusion. Click here to access the survey..

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