From the Principal
This Thursday we will commemorate Remembrance Day. We will pause at 11.00am to honour those who fought for our freedom, to reflect on the price they paid, and to acknowledge the benefits we gained through their sacrifice.
Global news gives us many reasons to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy in Australia. In some countries, simply stepping onto the street means risking one’s life, or casting an election ballot threatens one’s personal safety. Converting to Christianity is like signing a death wish.
This Thursday, as I pause to reflect on the freedoms that I enjoy, I also say thanks to Jesus for the sacrifice that he made for all people. Jesus’ sacrificial death paved the way for all of us to have access to God.
On Thursday, let’s pause to honour those who fought for our freedom. And as we do, let’s remember the price that Jesus paid so that we might enjoy spiritual freedom, too.
Have a good week.
Here is a summary of the latest COVID advice from Catholic Schools NSW which is relevant to St Patrick’s:
1. Parents and carers on site to support school operations
Fully vaccinated parents and carers will be allowed on site to support curriculum delivery, student wellbeing activities and school operations (for example reading support, canteen and uniform service). Parents and carers must check in using the school check-in and show proof of vaccination on entry to the school site.
2. Assemblies and presentations
Assemblies and presentations will be allowed outdoors on site. Fully vaccinated visitors (including parents and carers) are only allowed to attend if completing a specific role (such as presenting) and at the invitation of the school. All visitors must check in using the school check-in and show proof of vaccination.
Singing and chanting are not permitted.
Excursions will be allowed outdoors for all cohorts, and indoors if the class cohort has sole use of the venue. Transportation to and from venues must maintain class cohorts.
5. Graduations and formals
Graduations will be allowed within cohorts, either on school sites or at external venues. For graduations held on school sites, fully vaccinated parents and guests may attend at the discretion of the school if there is sufficient capacity in the venue based on COVID-safe capacity limits (square metre rules).
School sports are allowed, including inter-school sports outside of school hours. Schools can access pools (both indoor and outdoor) within cohorts and with COVID-safe measures in place to reduce mixing and mingling of cohorts.
7. Transitions and orientations
Kindergarten orientations will be allowed as long as they are designed to minimise mingling between orientation cohorts and school cohorts.
8. Community use
Community use of the school site will be allowed outside of school hours.
9. School Masses
School Masses may be held both onsite and offsite. Whole school masses can be celebrated at school if they are held outside, with the priest celebrating the Mass being fully vaccinated. Classes or cohorts can also attend Mass offsite.
Some of the implications for our school are as follows:
- We will resume our whole school assemblies on Friday afternoon 12th November (Week 6) and Friday afternoon 26th November (Week 8) from 2.30 to 2.55. The National Anthem and the school song will not be sung at these assemblies. These assemblies will be held outside. Unfortunately, we are unable to invite parents and carers to these assemblies.
- We are exploring the possibility of a full day excursion for those classes that have not yet had this opportunity in 2021.
- It is likely that our Year 6 graduation ceremony will take place outdoors on the school site.
- The regional sport trials, the school swimming carnival and the Kindergarten water fun day will proceed on Friday 10th December.
- We will have two Kindergarten orientation sessions on Friday 19th November and Friday 26th November. The details of these orientations have been communicated to those parents.
Please be assured that we value our partnership with parents and carers, and that implementing such strict protocols goes very much against the grain for us. Nevertheless, we understand that such measures must be implemented in order to safeguard the health of the children, their family members and our staff. Thank you for your understanding.
R.I.P. ROBYN HOLBROOK
Please remember in your prayers Robyn Holbrook, who passed away last week. Robyn is the mother of our learning support assistant, Lynne McMaster, who most of you would know as Mrs Mac, and the grandmother of Will, another of our learning support assistants. We extend our sincere sympathy to Lynne, Al, Cameron, Will and Lachlan.
Will has written a lovely tribute to his grandmother:
Robyn Holbrook, mother of four children, including Lynne McMaster, and Nan to seven grandchildren, her only three grandsons being Cameron, William and Lachlan McMaster. Nan was a kind and gentle woman. She loved spending time with her family, doing trips to Canberra to see her youngest daughter and her granddaughter, or trips up to Swansea to visit her daughter and grandsons.
She was always going for long walks, either along the beach or around the block, stopping to look at every garden along the way. Nan had a passion for plants. Her backyard looked like a nursery, full of plants and trees, especially rose bushes. Our regular weekend visits to Nan’s house were a highlight of our week. Climbing the big tree in her backyard and running around kicking a soccer ball, playing on her swing set and running through her plants, followed by a lemonade ice block which was always in the freezer for us, provide a basis for some of our best memories. Every Christmas, Nan would provide her special trifle and it was impossible to say no, regardless of how full you were.
Nan was a loving woman, regularly babysitting her grandchildren. After retiring from her job in Special Needs, she continued to volunteer her time down at her local Anglicare, walking or catching a bus down to the shop. She attended her local church - or whatever church was closest when she was on one of her trips - every weekend until she no longer could. Nan sadly passed away on 3rd November 2021, and she will be loved and missed by her family every day after.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.