The School Newsletter Week 2, Term 3 2020

What's Coming Up

Monday 3 August: Semester 1 School Reports Published to Compass

Monday 10 August: Parent/Teacher Zoom Meetings - (booking open on Compass next week)

Tuesday 11 August: School Photo Day

From the PrinciPAL

Next weekend we mark the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A. The Gospel is the story of the loaves and fishes as told in Matthew 14:13-21. As God so generously feeds us, so we must share this “food” with others. The food we share might be compassion, mercy, faithfulness, love or joy. Not just in small doses, but in abundance.

The Eucharist is the great sign to us that, as we are fed, so must we feed. Unfortunately, there have been times when our Eucharist table has been a sign of contradiction, such as when we have excluded people who seek to be fed, who need to be fed. Rules are important, but Jesus never used rules to exclude people from his compassion, from his mercy, from his love.

In our relationships, let us imitate Jesus and call everyone to the feast.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.


In the light of risks associated with the current pandemic, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Maitland Newcastle, Reverend Andrew Doohan, has issued the following directives to all of our Diocesan schools in regard to prayer and liturgy until the end of 2020:

  • The celebration of Mass is limited to parish Mases. There will be no school or class Masses.
  • Schools are to refrain from going to the parish church, given the current concerns about contagion.
  • The large formal liturgical celebrations that would normally take place in schools between now and the end of 2020 are suspended.

At our school, this has implications for our end-of-year Mass and Year 6 graduation, which is very much a rite of passage for our senior students. Nevertheless, we will plan for this significant event in new and creative ways. Unfortunately, our Christmas Carols event will also be cancelled . . . a very disappointing outcome, as last year’s event was a resounding success.

We will seize this time as an opportunity to nurture the prayer life of the school community in class groups. We recognise that these directives will leave many feeling great disappointment at not being able to celebrate what we have customarily celebrated. At the same time, we are hopeful that new and creative possibilities will emerge which we would otherwise not have considered and that these will light a new path beyond 2020.

Say Cheese - School Photos

Please check your child's bag for their photo envelope and take time to read the relevant information from MSP Photography. School Photos will take place on Tuesday 11 August 2020.

Remember these tips:

  • Don't seal envelopes inside each other. You can pay for all children in one envelope however each child needs to return their own envelope on photo day
  • Family envelopes are available at the school office upon request
  • Please enclose correct money as no change is given
  • Credit card payments are available online - You will need your personalised shoot key located on your child's envelope to place you order online: www.msp.com.au
  • This year no group photos will be taken. Group and Class photos will be provided in a composite manner only


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the pupil-free day this Friday 31st July. It will be school as usual this week. Apologies for any inconvenience that this causes.


Every day of the writing festival is a different: Today, Stage Three work with Author Susan Gervay, and Artist James Foley.

This week we have brought some of Australia’s most treasured children’s authors to St Patrick’s via an online writing festival. The event is connected to the Book Week theme: “Curious Creatures, Wild Minds”. All of the authors share a common passion - the importance of children’s literacy and the importance of passing on their love of writing to inspire young people. Their passion links strongly to our drive to improve writing and the enjoyment of writing.

Each day this week, our students are participating in a workshop in which they meet an author, focus upon a specific writing theme, and undertake a writing challenge. Some of the authors we will meet are Andrew Daddo, Oliver Phommavanh, Stephen Michael King, James Foley, Wendy Orr and Jackie French.

If you would like to know more about the festival, go to https://www.littlescribe.com/

Canteen News

The canteen will be open again this Friday for lunch order only . Please be reminded that orders will only be accepted via the QKR! App. No cash sales available.

This week the Canteen will be trialing two new options on the menu.

  1. Meatlovers pizza &
  2. Chicken and vegetable pies.

Why not give one a try!

The canteen still has a few spots to fill if you would like to volunteer.


On Monday next week (3rd August), the Semester 1 reports will be available on Compass. The instructions below are for accessing reports using a PC.

Using your username and password, log into the Compass Parent Portal https://swansea-nsw.compass.education/ . If you have forgotten your username or password, or believe you have not been issued with one, contact the school office for details.

On the home page, under each of your children, there is a link to ‘View Academic Reports’. Click on this link. It will open a list of all school reports. The latest report will be listed on top. ‘2020 – Semester One. Clicking on this link will open a PDF version of the report for you to view, download or print.

On Monday the teachers will send home a set of assessment tasks and work samples which should be read in conjunction with the reports. Please take the opportunity to affirm your children for their achievements and to set goals for the second half of the year.

Parent-teacher interviews will take place via Zoom on Monday 10th August. Bookings for parent teacher interviews will open next week. You will be able to book a time to Zoom with your child’s teacher using the Compass booking system. A Zoom invitation will then be emailed to you by the teacher.

There is a considerable amount of work that goes into writing these reports, and I thank the teachers who have spent many evenings and weekends preparing them.


Transport for NSW has advised us that our school has qualified for a school crossing supervisor on the school crossing outside our school. When the supervisor is appointed, they will be in attendance at the crossing from 8.30am to 9.30am and from 3.00pm to 4.00pm on each school day of the term.

Unfortunately we have lost the latest battle to have the Kiss & Ride zone extended. However, we will continue to put pursue this objective. I will keep you informed as to the progress in this matter.

Peter Green.


Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions have led to the cancellation of the first of three Kindergarten 2021 orientation mornings, which was scheduled for 1st September. This is very disappointing, as the first orientation has always been a wonderful opportunity for the children and their parents to meet informally in a social situation. The parents of the children have been notified. Nevertheless, the second and third orientation sessions will proceed as planned, albeit with strict distancing and hygiene protocols in place.

Focus on Positive Behaviour for Learning


As a caring community we would like to continue to offer our support to the Santamaria family after the loss of their dearly loved father and husband. If you can help to maintain their lawns for the rest of the year, it would be greatly appreciated. Please click on the link below where you will be taken to a lawn mowing roster, where you can volunteer to help on a particular Saturday.


Special Religious Education (SRE) is an important ministry within our Diocese which supports parents, students, clergy and parishes in the religious education of approximately 2500 students attending government schools. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had an impact on this ministry. On March 23 the NSW Department of Education provided advice that all SRE was to pause.

As we emerge from these restrictions, SRE is now allowed back in Govt schools from the beginning of Term 3. The current concern is that many of those involved in the SRE ministry fit into the vulnerable category according to the NSW Health guidelines and the AHPPC guidelines.

We need your help! Do you have a calling to spread the good news and joy of the Gospels to children in 2020? Are you able to be there to support the children in the SRE classroom and the Catechists who are unable to return? Can you assist with Special Religious Education in the short and/or long term?

If you would like more information about the campaign to recruit people to do this important work, visit https://bit.ly/2Eflzuk



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