The School Newsletter Week 7, Term 4 2019

What's Coming Up

Tonight: P&F Annual General meeting in the school library, beginning at 6.30pm. Please note that the meeting is on Tuesday, not Wednesday. Please consider coming along to support the work of our Parents and Friends Association.

Thursday 28 November: Year 5 Young Leaders Day @ St Paul's, Gateshead

Thursday 28 November: Volunteers Thank You Morning Tea

Monday 2 December: Advent Liturgy @ 9.15am at our sacred space.

Tuesday 3 December: K/1/2 Pet Education Program (incursion)

Friday 6 December: Year 5 Leadership speeches & voting

From the Principal


Actually, this Sunday is the first of several New Years we have every year. New Year? Yes, because next Sunday we start the first day of the Liturgical Year A. Every liturgical year begins on the first Sunday of Advent.

While the celebrative mood of most New Years is loud and festive, the New Year that Advent heralds seems rather sober and reflective. The symbolic lighting of the first candle in the Advent wreath is supposed to make us feel like we are in the darkness waiting for the light. As the Sundays before Christmas come, more candles are lit, and the light becomes brighter. The lighting of the candles symbolises the notion that we are not meant to live in the dark, but are called to live in the light.

As we wait during this Advent, we do what we usually do when we are waiting for something good, whether it be a new appliance or someone important: we prepare a place for that thing or person so that, when it arrives, we will enjoy it. Amidst the busyness and the trappings of Christmas, how will I prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus? May I suggest that your family spend this week designing and making a simple Advent wreath (three purple candles and one pink candle) for the dinner table. Next week, as we begin the season of Advent, pray together each evening before dinner:

Light the first candle: As we light this first Advent candle, we hope for the fuller brightness that is to come. We want it to remind us to watch for what God will give us, and to see what he has already given.

A minute or two of silence - a time to think quietly as we watch the candle burning.

Prayer: O God, we want to thank you for your gift of Christ, not just with words, but also with deeds. Help us to be grateful every day. Help us to meet our friends with understanding, our work with willingness, our responsibilities with patience. You have given so much to us: help us to give even a little to those who need us and our gifts, especially at this season of giving. Amen.

Have a good week.

Peter Green

This Week's PBL

You Can Do It

  • Talk to your child about how/when you sometimes use this type of thinking.
  • Praise your child when you see them being confident, and talk about what they are thinking.

Volunteers' Morning Tea

We are looking forward to honouring our volunteers at this Thursday’s morning tea, beginning at 9.15am in the school hall. Sincere thanks to everybody who has volunteered their time and expertise at St Patrick’s throughout this year.

Uniform Purchases for 2020

The uniform service will be open for item collection during the school holidays on Friday 24th January from 9.00am to 10.00am. There will be no sales on that date . . . This date is only for collecting orders made through the QKR app. School uniforms made through the QKR app must be submitted no later than 5.00pm on Thursday 23rd January.

All on site fittings and cash or Eftpos orders must be finalised no later than Friday 13th December – the last Friday of Term 4. The uniform service will be open every Friday between now and the end of the school between 8.30am and 9.30am.

If you are unable to come to the uniform service on a Friday morning for fittings, please email stpatricksuniform@gmail.com and we will try to accommodate you at a mutually convenient time. This email address may also be used for general queries related to school uniforms.

Our sincere thanks to Sharon Koller and Liz Sharpe who generously volunteer their time and expertise to running our uniform service. Please remember to express your gratitude to them.

Congratulations Charlotte

On Wednesday evening next week (4th December), the Civic Playhouse will host the 2019 Young Scriptwriter evening. On this evening, scriptwriters from schools throughout our diocese will see their scripts come to life as they are read and performed on stage. Throughout this year, Charlotte (Year 6) has been involved in this scriptwriters group, and her work will be one of the scripts showcased on the evening. This promises to be a most entertaining evening and a very exciting event for Charlotte and our school. What an achievement, Charlotte! Tickets ($10) to the show – ‘First Draft’ – are available through Ticketek. The show will begin at 6.00pm.

Year 4 & 5 BYOD in 2020

Just a reminder that, if you wish to purchase your child’s device for the 2020 BYOD program, you may purchase it through JBHi-Fi’s portal, by following the below steps below:

If you have misplaced the letter that outlined the details of the program and device specifications, you can find a copy on the 'News' section of the Compass Parent Portal

Student Leadership in 2020

During this week and next week, the students of Year 5 will be nominating for positions of leadership as our senior students in 2020. We have introduced two new leadership positions – Leader of Mission. The two Leaders of Mission will support and promote social justice initiatives organised by the school and the Mini Vinnies Team.

In total, there will be ten leadership positions that the Year 5 students will contest:

  • Two school captains.
  • Two leaders of mission.
  • Six sport captains.

The responsibilities linked to each of these roles will be explained to the students before they nominate for them. Having nominated for a position(s), the students will write speeches in which they will appeal to the other students to vote for them. The students will deliver their speeches to the other students on Friday next week (6th December), beginning at 9.10am. The speeches will take place under the COLA. Although only the students from Years 2 to 5 are eligible to vote, all of the students will have the opportunity to listen to the speeches. Parents and other family members are welcome to come along to listen to the speeches.

Following the speeches, the Years 2 to 5 students will cast their votes by secret ballot. The successful candidates will be announced at the end-of-year awards ceremony on Thursday 12th December, which begins at 1.30pm in the school hall.

If you would like to read our Student Leadership policy, you will find it on our school website.

Carols by The Sea

On Thursday 12th of December the P&F have organised a ‘Carols by the Sea’ at the school from 4.30pm-7.00pm

This will be an opportunity for the school community to get together and celebrate the upcoming Christmas season.

Canteen Volunteers Needed

As you can see we still need volunteers for canteen duty this Term. If you are a registered volunteer and able to work in the Canteen please let the School Office or Shermaine Fitzgerald know ASAP. Without volunteers, the canteen will close.

ICAS English Results

Recently, 10 students entered the University of NSW ICAS English Competition. We are very proud of these students for the results that they have achieved:

  • Participation award: Flynn F, Emma W, Charlotte C, Kate E, Victoria O, Thomas Mc.
  • Merit: Tamika F (top 43%).
  • Credit: Dylan W (top 15%), Sheridan O (top 18%), Layla W (top 30%).

These students will be presented with their certificates at this Friday’s assembly.

Attention: Parents of Students with Additional Needs

What tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve?

The Chair of The Federation of P&F Associations, Cheryl Murphy, is currently working on a project to support families across NSW who have children with additional needs in Catholic schools. Cheryl is also the Chair of the State CCSP Special Needs Working Party. She is keen to produce a resource that provides tips for parents and carers of all students to assist them support their child from Kinder to Year 12 with a particular focus on supporting students with additional needs.

If you have a great tip….like a method to make sure you’re out the door on time, how to manage screen time, or how to calm down an anxious child, please consider coming along to meet with Cheryl and share your wisdom.

WHEN: Tomorrow - Wednesday 27th November, 8.30am – 10.00am

WHERE: Meeting room in the back of the St Patrick's church.

Year 5/6 Camp

Sincere thanks to Cathy Dent and Ben McCarthy who took our Years 5 and 6 students for three days to Point Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreation Centre for their end-of-year camp. Both Cathy and Ben have many commitments with their own families, and I am very grateful to them for taking time away from their families to give our students this opportunity. I am sure that a word of thanks to them – if you have not already done so – would be very much appreciated. If you would like to see more photos of the activities that the students undertook, visit our Facebook page.


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Bronwyn Sartori