The School Newsletter Week 6, Term 2 2020

What's Coming Up

Friday 5 June: Welcome back celebration and fundraiser - (see details within)

Tuesday 23 June: Three Way Writing Meetings

From the Principal

Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. On this feast we recall the story of Mary – pregnant with Jesus - travelled to the hill country to a town called Judah to visit her cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-57). When Mary greeted Elizabeth the unborn John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb on recognizing the unborn Christ. Mary ended up prolonging her visit and staying three months with her cousin until John was born.

On the site where it is believed that this visit took place, the Church of the Visitation now stands. I had the opportunity to visit this church during my pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2013, and I clearly remember the long, steep walk up the hillside to the church. In the churchyard you can see 42 plaques each bearing the words of the Magnificat in a different language. The Magnificat was the prayer that Mary sang on meeting Elizabeth.

How fitting that the Feast of the Visitation should coincide with a time when our restrictions are being lifted on visiting our family and friends!

Just as people are brought to us by God to show us His love, we are also visitors to other people. We should try our hardest to reflect the love of God in our words and deeds to others. We should be visitors who bring good will, good news and goods things to the people we meet. Don’t bring bad will, bad news and bad things to the people you meet.

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40).

Have a good week.

Peter Green.


You will recall that I have been lobbying Lake Macquarie City Council to extend the “Kiss and Ride” zone on Northcote Avenue by 20 metres eastward, in an attempt to enable more vehicles to use the Kiss and Ride zone in the afternoons. In spite of my efforts, the Council is still deliberating over this request while the situation on Northcote Avenue becomes more hazardous. Since we have been forced to ask parents and carers not to enter the school site, many more drivers now use the kiss and Ride zone in the afternoons. This has led to a bank-up of traffic parking in the “No Stopping” zone and across the school crossing. Those parents and carers who park in these zones obstruct the view of drivers as they approach the crossing. The safety of children and adults using the crossing is at risk.

Extending the Kiss and Ride zone will not solve the problem. A longer Kiss and Ride zone will still not accommodate all of the vehicles if they arrive at the same time. Therefore, as from tomorrow (Wednesday 3rd June), we will implement a few changes to the way that we do the afternoon pick-up:

  1. Drivers whose children’s last names begin with the letters A to G will arrive at the Kiss and Ride zone at 2.55pm.
  2. Drivers whose children’s last names begin with the letters H to Q will arrive at arrive at the Kiss and Ride zone at 3.00pm.
  3. Drivers whose children’s last names begin with the letters R to Z will arrive at arrive at the Kiss and Ride zone at 3.05pm.
  4. Do not arrive early, because your child will not be ready for you.
  5. There will be two teachers rostered to manage the Kiss and Ride zone each afternoon.
  6. If you do not move as far forward as possible in the Kiss and Ride zone, a teacher will signal you to do so. Please heed this request.
  7. Only the first three vehicles in the Kiss and Ride zone will be loaded. Any vehicles behind the first three vehicles will not be loaded. Do not signal to your children to come to your vehicle if you are further back in the queue.
  8. When the vehicle in front of you either drives away or progresses in the queue, move your vehicle forward.
  9. If it is possible to teach your child to buckle themselves in with the seatbelt, please encourage them to do so. Some very young children with booster seats will need parental assistance to buckle up. Drivers who leave their vehicles to secure their children impede the smooth flow of traffic.
  10. When it is safe to drive away from the Kiss and Ride zone, please do so immediately.
  11. If there are other family members or friends who collect your children from the Kiss and Ride, please pass on this information to them so that everybody is aware of the protocols.

These procedures have been implemented for the safety of the students, the staff and the drivers. Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation.

Peter Green.

Do not park or wait either side of the crossing. It is very dangerous to staff and students. If you are in this space you will be asked to move on. You may only wait in the designated K & R area (between the signs). If there is no space available, please drive around the block!


This Friday (5th June) we will celebrate the full time return to school with a “Welcome Back” event for the students. The day will begin with the normal routine of lessons until lunchtime. The day will then proceed as follows:

  • 11.05: Lunch; Every student will be given a sausage sandwich, a mini muffin and a drink.
  • 12.20: Games: Students will rotate to different stations.
  • 1.35: Recess. The students will need to bring their own afternoon tea.
  • 2.10: Tug-o-war: The students will compete in a knockout series of tug-o-war contests to determine the champion team. Each team will be made up of students from Kindergarten to Year 6.
  • 2.55: Home.

The games and the tug-o-war (only nine students per team) will be planned to ensure limited physical contact between the students.

All students will wear their sport uniforms this Friday.

We will use this opportunity to support some vulnerable communities in the world that are most susceptible to the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, we are asking the students to donate towards Caritas’ COVID-19 appeal. A gold coin from each student would be great, but given that the school is funding the students’ lunches on that day, some of you might consider digging a little deeper for this worthy cause.

For more information about Caritas’ COVID-19 appeal, go to https://bit.ly/36gsqNY. Thank you in anticipation of your support for communities that have been hardest during this pandemic.


As from next week (Wk 7 T2), the sport uniforms will be worn on the following days:

  • Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2: Thursdays.
  • Years 3 to 6: Fridays.

These will be the sport uniform days until the end of the year.

First round offers Kinder 2021

The enrolment period for Kindergarten 2021 officially closed last Friday (29 May 2020), offers of places in Kindergarten 2021 were sent out in the mail yesterday. We are still accepting further enrolment applications .

Enrolments are still open for 2021 - Encourage your friends and family to apply today!


We are inviting all of our parents/carers to attend a three-way meeting between student, parent/carer and teacher to discuss the progress that your child is making as a writer, to set goals for your child in the area of writing, and to offer suggestions as to how parents/carers can assist their children. The meetings will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 23rd June 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions prohibit face-to-face meetings.

Parents/Carers are asked to book a time using the COMPASS booking system, as follows:

1. On a PC:

  • Log into the portal at https://swansea-nsw.compass.education/.
  • Click the ‘Book Parent/Teacher interviews’ link from the home page.
  • Follow the steps to select a teacher and a time.
  • Alternatively, click on ‘Community’ > then ‘Conferences’, and select the meeting that reflects your child’s year.

2. On a mobile app version of COMPASS:

  • Choose the three lines in the top left corner, and select ‘Conferences’.
  • You will then be able to book a teacher and a time.

On Friday 19th June 2020, you will receive an invitation to a Zoom meeting with your child’s teacher. You will be asked to log into the Zoom meeting on 23 June at your allotted booking time.



“The beginning of a new way of God being with us.”

Last weekend the Church celebrated Pentecost Sunday. This special feast day is also known as the birthday of the Church. Pentecost takes its name from the feast that the Jews celebrated fifty days after their Passover. In the gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples and commands them to go out and spread the good news of Jesus. However, Jesus knows that they will need strength, so he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.” We pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen us and give us the wisdom that we need to persevere and to be resilient.

Almighty and all-merciful God, lover of the human race, healer of all our wounds, in whom there is no shadow of death, save us in this time of crisis.

Grant wisdom and courage to our leaders. Watch over all medical people as they tend the sick and work for a cure. Stir in us a sense of solidarity beyond all isolation. If our doors are closed, let our hearts be open.

By the power of your love, destroy the virus of fear, that hope may never die and the light of Easter, the triumph of life, may shine upon us and the whole world.

Through Jesus Christ, the Lord risen from the dead, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Family activity

You will need some sticky notes. During the week be ‘Spirit Spotters’. We ‘see’ the Holy Spirit when someone is loving, kind, happy, sharing, forgiving, generous, and helpful. Look carefully at yourself, and at family members, friends and people you do not know. Fill each sticky note with the name of someone you spotted the Holy Spirit in, and what you saw them doing. Post it on a poster and display for everyone to see.

Song of the week

“Shine Jesus Shine”. Visit https://bit.ly/2M7QcCG


As a caring community we would like to continue to offer our support to the Santamaria family by maintaining their lawns for the rest of the year. If you can offer your help, 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.


The following link provides information that might be useful to parents and carers as they navigate life beyond a COVID-19 lockdown:


The 2020 school year has been like no other.

We acknowledge the hard work and commitment of our teachers and principals during the COVID-19 pandemic and the change in learning from school-based to home-based learning. We also acknowledge and sincerely thank the parents and carers who have supported home learning and the challenges it has created, particularly when it has been coupled with working from home, additional healthcare stress and, in some cases, responsibilities for caring for others.

Communication between schools and parents/carers has been a key practice during the changes in schooling. Our teachers and principals have been providing parents and carers with informal and formal opportunities to receive information about their child’s learning.

The opportunity to provide a formal report this semester is important; however, the report will look different because of the changes to learning so far this year and will focus on the learning that has happened both at home and school. It will focus on the outcomes taught and assessed. The purpose of this report is to help parents and carers understand how their child is going at this time and what can be done to support future learning.

All Education Authorities recognise the need for flexibility in usual reporting practices at this time so, based on advice from the Education Minister, schools will report on student progress and achievement without the usual A–E or equivalent grading. This is for Semester 1 only.


► Periods of full and part time school and home learning

► An understanding that not all students have equitable access to or support with their learning at home for a variety of reasons

► The need to modify the planned curriculum to accommodate home learning

► That students have not had the usual opportunities to demonstrate evidence of their learning

► An understanding that teachers have not had the usual opportunities to observe and assess students

► An understanding that teacher workload has increased considerably in transitioning quickly to home learning, the simultaneous provision of school and home learning and in the re-engagement of students with school learning

► The importance of three-way conversations between parent/carer, teacher and student when restrictions ease. These meetings will enable sharing of insights and feedback about learning in Semester 1 to inform future goal setting.


► The Semester 1 report will not be as comprehensive as in previous years

► The A–E Grade scale will not be used to report student achievement

► Teacher professional judgement of student achievement relative to their peer group at this point in time will inform these reports

► Only NSW Syllabus outcomes taught and assessed this semester will be used to measure achievement

► In Primary schools, achievement will only be recorded for Religious Education, English and Mathematics

► Reports will be delayed until the beginning of Term 3

► Teacher written comments will be minimal. Opportunities for three-way parent/carer, teacher and student conversations will be provided when possible

► Attendance will not be recorded for Semester 1


The Catholic Schools Office has issued a guide to schools in regard to how to run our sport and physical activity programs, in the light of precautions that must be taken in relation to COVID-19. If any parents or carers would like a full copy of the document, please contact Peter Green. The following points summarise those points that relate to our school’s sport and physical activity program:

  • As students return to face-to-face learning, sport and physical activity programs will initially focus on non-contact sports.
  • Staff and students are required to wash their hands prior to and at the conclusion of sport and physical activities. Encourage hand hygiene practices at regular intervals as required.
  • Students are expected to stay away from school or be collected by a parent/carer should they become unwell during the day. Students should not be participating in sport if they are unwell.
  • Students should provide their own personal items such as water bottles, towels, clothing, mouthguards, etc. as required for competitive sporting activities.
  • All sport and physical activity equipment (including shared equipment and clothing such as school sporting singlets and bibs) must be cleaned at the end of each session. Equipment that cannot be cleaned after each use must not be shared.
  • Shaking hands, high fives and hugging are to be avoided. Students must minimise any physical contact with others for the duration of the sporting activity.
  • School staff are to physically distance from students during lessons.
  • As students return to full-time face-to-face learning, sport and physical activity programs will initially focus on non-contact sports. Students can participate in small group sport and physical activities however staff are to continue to maintain physical distance when supervising students during these programs.


The Jesus, The Good Shepherd, East Lake Macquarie Parish is seeking applications for the position of Accounts & Administration Officer (Parish Secretary). This is a permanent part-time position working 23 hours per week, with days and hours of work negotiable. The position is based in the Parish office in Belmont.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Parish Priest, the role is responsible for managing the Parish’s financial records and transactions through its software, Xero and completing all administrative and reception functions required by the Parish.

For more information about the role, including the position description and the Essential and Desirable Criteria please visit: https://www.mn.catholic.org.au/about/careers/positions-vacant/ or you can contact Talent Partner, Kelly Gibson on 02 4979 1121.

To Apply

Please visit https://www.mn.catholic.org.au/about/careers/positions-vacant/ and click on Apply. To be considered for the position please provide a copy of your current resume and a cover letter individually answering each of the Essential and Desirable Criteria.

* Please note that not adequately addressing the Criteria will result in your application not being shortlisted.

Applicants may be required to undertake a national police check, complete a health assessment declaration, hold a current Working With Children Check for paid employment, hold a current NSW driver's licence and must have the ability to work within Australia.

Applications close 11.59pm on Monday, 8 June 2020.



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