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The School Newsletter Week 10, Term 3 2020

TERM 4 CALENDAR

  • Mon 12 Oct: Students return.
  • Wed 28 Oct: P&F meeting by Zoom @ 6.30.
  • Tue 3 Nov: K-2 spirituality day.
  • Thu 12 Nov: Book Week parade.
  • Wed 25 Nov: P&F annual general meeting by Zoom @ 6.30.
  • Mon 30 Nov – Fri 4 Dec: Book fair.
  • Fri 4 Dec: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Day, K-6. Year 5 leadership speeches and voting. Semester 2 reports to be published.
  • Tue 8 Dec: End-of-year awards ceremonies.
  • Thu 10 Dec: 20 Nights Book Party.
  • Wed 16 Dec: Students’ last day.
  • Thu 17 Dec: Staff’s last day.

From the PrinciPAL

Dear Parents and Carers

I cannot remember a time in my teaching career when so much has changed at a school so quickly and so unexpectedly. And not just at school. Everyone has had to come to terms with how we now live and work, how we shop, where we travel, who we can see, and so much more. The day-to-day routines at St Patrick’s have returned to near normal, with all students attending school, and rich learning happening in all of the classrooms. It seems that after the challenges and complexities of learning from home, our students have a new appreciation for being able to be at school, to be taught by their own teachers, and to be able to mix with their friends. Our school continues to operate within NSW Health and Catholic Schools Office guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. I remind parents and carers that, with a few exceptions that have been granted for extraordinary circumstances, the only people permitted on the school property are students and staff members.

Term 4 is usually one of milestones and celebrations: overnight excursions, disco, Kinder orientation, swimming lessons, swimming carnival, liturgies, leadership speeches, awards ceremony, Year 6 graduation and Christmas carols . . . to name just a few. Sadly, some of these will not happen this year. On the other hand, we will do our very best to celebrate at least some of these milestones and to recognise the achievements of our students. We will do our very best to involve the parents and carers in some of these special occasions – even if you are viewing it from a screen.

I would like to sincerely thank you for your support throughout this term. I would also like to acknowledge the commitment, the resilience and the professionalism of our students and staff as we have adapted to the ever-changing restrictions related to the pandemic.

I wish you all the best during the two weeks of school holidays. If you are travelling, do so safely. Enjoy the spring weather and the company of your beautiful children.

Peter Green

Principal

PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE INTO THE CAR PARK

Some parents and carers have been using the car park to drop off their children in the mornings. When the children alight from the vehicles, there is the potential for a serious incident when there are vehicles and children using the car park. The Kiss and Ride zone has been developed to ensure that the students are safe when they are dropped off at the school. I ask you to use the Kiss and Ride zone for this purpose.

Sometimes there are too many vehicles to fit into the Kiss and Ride zone. If that is the case, I ask you to drive around the block and try again. While this not an ideal solution, you will recall that I have been successful in having the Kiss and Ride zone extended, and I am waiting on Council to make the change. This will increase the capacity of the Kiss and Ride zone and thereby reduce the morning and afternoon congestion.

Thank you for helping us to maintain safety around the school during the morning and afternoon peak periods.

Peter Green

Principal

Canteen

Please be reminded that the canteen is closed this Friday. The canteen is closed on the last day of each term for cleaning and stocktaking. Don't forget to bring a packed lunch!

CONGRATULATIONS LACEY & BILLIE

Congratulations to Billie & Lacey on their recent success at the Finite Gallery’s recent junior art competition. Lacey was awarded first place in her category, and Billie received a Highly Commended award. Lacey’s and Billie’s artworks are the ones indicated with the red dots.

We always like to publicise our students’ achievements in their areas of interest, so please send us your photos and stories.

From the Religious Education Coordinator

We are caring kids!

This week our Year 5/6 students sent well wishes and messages of inspiration to the Year 12 students at St. Mary’s Gateshead. The bookmarks included a scripture passage to inspire and a lolly. We thank Mrs Dent and Year 5/6 for this act of kindness.

Tenison Apartments

Year 5/6 have been busy and have made cards for the residents at Tenison Apartments. Our students addressed their cards to a resident, telling them about themselves and sending them wishes of encouragement. To continue our connection with Tenison Apartments each couple of weeks a class will be connecting with them through a variety of cards and artworks. A lovely act of kindness.

Care for Creation Week

This week our Mini Vinnies team have coordinated lunch time ‘prayer stations/activities’ for students to participate in. Students reflect on the call to stewardship of creation. The prayer stations encourage our students to think about how we can all share in the responsibility of caring for God’s world. The ideas are based on the seven days of creation found in Genesis 1:1-24.

Here are the stations for Monday and Tuesday. We thank our Mission Leaders Maci and Ayla and the Mini Vinnies team!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3Lz7dmn1eM

On day one, God created light from darkness. By Olivia, Summer, Gemima

On the first day of Creation, God made the heavens and earth, light from darkness, night and day... quite a busy day! We often associate light with the good, bright and happy things of life. And darkness can represent the things that aren’t so good. At this prayer station, you’re invited to think about the way you view our world. Write all the good things about our world on the yellow paper, and thank God for them as you do so. Then write down the things that you’d like to change on the dark paper – praying for a better world as you write. Even when things do seem dark and gloomy, we’re reminded that God calls us to shine with the light of faith – so don’t lose heart!

On day three, God made plants and trees. By Jagger, Hayden, Jack, Layla

An ancient proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime!” What has that to do with creating plants and trees? Well, not a lot. But it has something to do with people like Nugamong from Cambodia. He is a resin tree tapper whose livelihood was under threat when illegal companies tried to buy his trees for timber. All very well – but losing his trees would mean an end to Nugamong’s long-term income. CAFOD partners supported Nugamong, encouraging him to keep the trees so that he could keep collecting and selling resin to support his family. Making decisions that positively affect others is part of our responsibility as members of God’s global family. Take action! Hug a tree and say a prayer of thanks!

On day six, God created human beings. By Madison, Emma

All that amazing creative activity – and now God creates human beings, putting us in charge of the whole lot. As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility...”

In our prayer space, the words of Psalm 139:13 speak of how God knows us all intimately. “You created every part of me, you put me together in my mother’s womb. Today in our prayer station you will look closely at your reflection in the mirror and notice What do you see when you look at yourself?

Reminding yourself that God sees an amazing and wonderful person. Then we want you to think about how you can show great responsibility for the world by using the gifts that God has given to you.You will write one of your gifts down, and the greatest challenge is then to go out and use the gift.

BOOK WEEK PARADE & BOOK FAIR

Book Week is an annual celebration of books for young people. Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. It is usually held in Term 3, but COVID forced us to postpone it until Term 4. This year’s Book Week theme is “Curious Creatures, Wild Minds.”

On Thursday 12th November we will hold our annual Book Week parade in which the students are invited to dress up as a book character or a “curious creature.” Following NSW Health regulations, the Book Week parade will be staged in small groups in order to avoid assembling all of the students in one place simultaneously. Unfortunately, the parents and carers will be unable to be present in person, but the Book Week parades will be live streamed to the parents and families. On the same day, the students will listen to one of the shortlisted books with their class teacher and participate in a literacy activity.

From 30th November to 4th December we will have our annual Scholastic Book Fair in the school library. This will provide an opportunity for your children to purchase books at a reasonable price. You will be able to view titles online and the children will be able to complete wishlists.

Our book-themed celebrations will culminate with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Day on Friday 4th December at which the students will be able to exercise their curiously wild minds.

NSW PREMIER’S READING CHALLENGE

The NSW Premier's Reading Challenge has now closed for 2020. All of our students in Kindergarten to Year Three completed the challenge by listening to and reading books from the Premier’s Reading Challenge list during class time. In addition, Teddy, Jessica, Hayden, Emma and Lara (Year 4) and Sheridan (Year 5) completed. These students will receive their certificates at the end of Term 4. Congratulations to all of these students.

P&F BY ZOOM

The next meeting of the P&F will take place on tomorrow night (23rd September). The meeting will take place via Zoom, beginning at 6.30pm. 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 this meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening:

  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/98078961427
  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 182418.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

ONLINE SURVEY

We are inviting students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experience of our school using an online survey. The surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process.

Parents and Carers . . . We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school community, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Patrick’s.

The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. You are able to access the parent survey on your computer or mobile device by using this URL: www.tellthemfromme.com/cbsjd.

The survey opened yesterday (Monday 21 September) and will close on Thursday 22 October. Thank you in anticipation of your feedback.

Focus on Positive Behaviour for Learning

COVID RESTRICTIONS ON DRINKING WATER AT ST PATRICK’S

The safety of our students is of primary concern and ensuring access to water is especially important as we move into the warmer months. Under the direction of NSW Health, we have advised our students not to use the bubblers at school, but to bring their own supplies of drinking water. It is important we support our students with regard to staying hydrated whilst remaining vigilant to the personal hygiene practices required at this time.

However, we are conscious that some students may forget or misplace their water bottles, and are then potentially going without the appropriate levels of hydration. We ask parents and carers to ensure that their children bring a full water bottle to school each day. The students are able to refill their bottles at a water filling station outside the toilet block.

We have advised the students that if for any reason they cannot get water, they are to speak with a member of the staff who will address the issue.

HELLO HUNTER

Hello Hunter partners with churches to mobilise volunteers to help people in need, regardless of their faith background, commitment, or other social standing or identity. Hello Hunter is for any person experiencing hardship due to social isolation, poverty, disease, disaster, disability, illness, age, mental health, family, social, or other community network breakdown. For further information, go to https://info.hellohunter.org.au/

Native Bush Gardens

Indigenous Australians have long used local plants for their food and medicine. These plants are known as ‘bush tucker’.

Over the course of this year at St Patrick’s we have planned, planted, and begun to look after a variety of native plants in our gardens that provide edible roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, or fruits.

Bush tucker is highly nutritious. Planting bush tucker species in our garden gives us the opportunity to learn how our First Peoples also used sustainable agriculture practices to live here. Native plants can complement your diet adding new flavours and high levels of vitamins and minerals. Selected bush tucker plants are perfectly suited to the soil and climate here making them water-wise. The identification of existing native plants and trees and their traditional uses will be able to be integrated into curriculum learning across multiple KLAs as well as enhance our students cultural understanding.

Planting bush tucker is an act of conservation and helps preserve our valuable and unique local flora. Students may be encouraged to do the same at home. It is our hope that our native bush gardens will continue to be cared for by students as stewards of our land and creation. We will continue to learn about our plants as this project evolves and grow over the coming years…

Caution: Do not prepare bush tucker without having been shown by indigenous or experienced persons.

LIVE STREAMING OF TERM 4 EVENTS

Elsewhere in this newsletter there is a calendar of events for Term 4. Normally this calendar is significantly bigger than this year’s calendar but, as the pandemic has imposed many restrictions upon us, Term 4 looks to be another quiet one.

There are three Term 4 events that usually draw a crowd of parents and carers:

  1. The Book Week parade (Thursday 12th November)
  2. The Year 5 leadership speeches and voting (Friday 4th December)
  3. The end-of-year award ceremonies (Tuesday 8th December).

Unfortunately, parents and carers will be unable to attend these events, but we are hoping to live stream these events so that parents and carers may be present – even if it is from behind a screen.

The plan at this stage is to break up the Book Week parade into four smaller events: Kindergarten; Years 1 & 2; Years 3 & 4; Years 5 & 6.

The Year 5 leadership speeches will also be organised so that the students can view the speeches from their classrooms and the parents and carers from their devices.

The end-of-year award ceremonies will take place in the classrooms and will be staggered so that the parents and carers may tune in to their children’s classes at designated times throughout the day.

SUMMER UNIFORM

With the weather now becoming somewhat warmer, the students will be required to wear the summer uniform from the first day back in Term 4, i.e. Monday 12th October.

RESULTS OF THE ICAS SCIENCE COMPETITION

Recently, seven of our students entered the University of NSW ICAS Science Competition. We are very proud of their efforts and we would like to share with you their results:

  • Flynn F, Layla W and Lara W each earned a Participation award.
  • Tamika F (top 42%) and Jagger W (top 42%) each earned a Merit award.
  • Sheridan O (top 19%) and Sienna R (top 35%) each earned a Credit award.

Congratulations to these students. They each received their certificates yesterday morning.

HELP REQUIRED

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.

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