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The School Newsletter Week 4, Term 4 2021

From the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to our students in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. We are thrilled to be back together again.

This Friday (29th October) is World Teachers’ Day. Throughout the recent lockdown, teachers – with incredible support from parents and carers - have ensured that our children continue to be educated, in spite of major challenges. The recent period of home-based learning has reinforced the significant role that teachers play in the lives of children and their families. The members of our support staff, who take on many of the responsibilities normally ascribed to teachers, are equally as deserving of our gratitude.

At St Patrick’s, we recognise that parents are their children’s first teachers. However, during your child’s school years, it is often individual teachers who bring learning to life and lead students to identify what is most exciting and rewarding. You have handed over your children to us because you know that we will protect them, comfort them, discipline them and educate them as if they were our own children.

During last year’s first lockdown, I took up woodwork during those days, weeks and months at home. I have continued to enjoy this interest. I start a project with pieces of timber of various lengths and widths and, when I have finished, I have built a piece of furniture. If I have built it properly, it will last for a long time. I can admire it and acknowledge to myself: “I played a part in that.”

You have delivered your children to our teachers and we begin the construction. How solid that construction is plays a huge part in the type of person they grow into. While we saw, chisel and glue, we cannot see the finished product. In fact, we rarely see the finished product because, after seven years, the children leave us for high school. It is only when we (occasionally) run into those “children” years later that we can see what we have built. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a parent is that you get to see the finished products that walk out at the end of their time here.

This Friday will be an opportunity for your child to say thank you to a teacher who has begun the very rewarding work towards turning out the finished product. I encourage students and their families to send a messages of appreciation to a special teacher. If you need some ideas, try these links:

Have a good week.

Peter Green

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STUDENT VACCINATIONS

Several parents have made inquiries regarding COVID vaccinations of students. In its latest ‘Return To School Roadmap”, Catholic Schools NSW has stated the following:

“In the event that a vaccination program is implemented for primary-school-aged children in NSW public schools, informed consent will be sought from the child’s parents or carers before any vaccine is administered.”

In spite of the fact that this specifically refers to public schools, I can assure you that the same will apply to any proposed vaccination program that is implemented in Catholic schools.

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CHANGES TO ‘KISS AND RIDE’ ZONE AND BUS ZONE

Last Tuesday, at our request, Lake Macquarie City Council made changes to the ‘Kiss and Ride’ zone and the bus zone outside the school. The Kiss and Ride Zone has been extended and relocated further east, beginning outside Tenison Apartments. The bus zone has been relocated further west adjacent to the school crossing. The purpose of this change is to allow an extra four or five vehicles into the Kiss and Ride zone, making it safer during the morning drop-off and the afternoon pick-up.

Once again, may I ask you to drive as far along the Kiss and Ride zone as is possible when you are dropping off your children and picking them up. Thanks in anticipation.

Peter Green.

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2022 Family Discount Form

All fee payers were emailed a copy of the 2022 Family Discount Form last week.

The 2022 family discount form has been redesigned to include your payment frequency and payment method, thereby combining two forms into one. It is important that this form is returned to the School Office by 30 November 2021. The form needs to be returned to each school in our diocese that you have a child attending in 2022. If we do not receive this form back, we are unable to apply the correct family discounts in 2022.

If you are also applying for a HCC or pension discount in 2022 you need to indicate this on the form, and then complete further paperwork before this discount can be applied.

If you require clarification, please not not hesitate to contact the school office.

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A LOVELY ACT OF KINDNESS

Unfortunately, James recently broke his leg. He returned to school yesterday, and he will be confined to a wheelchair for a few weeks. This will mean that James will not be able to run around with his friends, which is one of his favourite things to do. It was lovely to see Marshall, Lachlan and Toby sitting on the playground with James yesterday morning. Thank you boys!

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FAREWELL ZAHLI

Sadly, we farewell Zahli tomorrow after five years at St Patrick’s. Her teacher, Cathy Dent, has described Zahli as a “beautiful, hardworking and thoughtful member of our class who has a great sense of social justice and a determination to stand up for what she believes is right, which she does quietly with respect. Impressive attributes in someone so young. We wish Zahli all the very best at her new school.

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WELCOME BACK MARSHALL

After six months of travelling around Australia, Marshall returned to St Patrick’s yesterday. It is lovely to have you back, Marshall.

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YEAR 3 2022

Once again, the current group of Year 2 students will be allocated to two class groups next year in Year 3. Once again, there will be opportunities for students in both classes to work together throughout the year because we believe that it is important to maintain the identity of the group as a Year 3 cohort.

If there is a particular child who you wish to be in the same class as your child, please advise me in writing by emailing me at peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au. Do not assume that any requests made for 2021 will automatically roll over into 2022. If you wish to contact me in this regard, please do so no later than Friday 12th November.

The allocation of students to classes takes a long time. Last year, after we had advised parents of the class allocations for Year 2 in 2021, several parents who had not previously contacted me requested a change. Please do not make any requests after 12th November, as it is very time-consuming when we have to start from scratch again. It is never as simple as moving your child into the other class, as there are many dynamics to consider.

We will do our best to honour your wishes. However, we will also exercise our professional judgement in regard to the allocation of the children to classes.

Peter Green.

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GIFTED EDUCATION UPDATE

Last Wednesday Lacey, Sheridan and Tamika participated in an online session to share project work that they have recently completed during this period of home-based learning. The girls completed an English extension project that was developed by members of the gifted education team at the Catholic schools Office.

There were students from a variety of Diocesan schools present at last Wednesday’s session. It was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to network and to celebrate their work with like-minded peers. The girls were encouraged to ask questions related to the projects presented by other schools.

Since all three girls were in different breakout rooms, I was unable to watch all of their presentations. After speaking with them afterwards, I know that they enjoyed this opportunity and that they would have represented our school with great pride. Well done girls!

Cathy Curk (Gifted Education Mentor)

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CANTEEN OPEN ON FRIDAYS

Who is excited about school going back? We are! The canteen will be open from this Friday!

If you can volunteer please message Belinda Sneesby Newell. Requirements for volunteers are as follows:

  • Must have clearance from the cso to volunteer,
  • must be double vaxxed and
  • must wear mask and gloves for the entire time in the canteen.

At this stage we will open for lunch orders only no snacks. Please remember that all orders muct be placed before 9AM using the QKR app

The Canteen Crew

Canteen Roster

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ICAS TESTING

Now that we are back at school, we will run the ICAS tests on the following dates:

  • Monday 1st November: Digital Technologies
  • Tuesday 2nd November: English
  • Monday 8th November: Science
  • Tuesday 9th November: Spelling
  • Monday 15th November: Mathematics

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WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK - Due date extended

The Catholic Schools Office has extended the due date for completion of the community consultation survey. The survey is now open until Friday 12th November. The survey is anonymous, voluntary and easy to use. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and covers people’s perceptions of the school’s support for learning, positive behaviours, and the promotion of safety and inclusion. Click here to access the survey..

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REGIONAL baskeball Trials

The Lakes Catholic Schools regional basketball trials will take place on Friday 19th November. If your child is in either Year 4 or Year 5, and they play basketball at a competitive level, they will be eligible to trial for the regional team. If you are interested, please email me at peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au.

Regional Touch Trials

The Lakes Catholic Schools regional touch trials will take place on Tuesday 23rd November. If your child is in either Year 4 or Year 5, and they play touch at a competitive level, they will be eligible to trial for the regional team. If you are interested, please email me at peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au.

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ST PATRICK’S STAFF 2022

It is with mixed feelings that I inform you that our Year 3 teacher, Issac Fox, will leave St Patrick’s at the end of this year to take up a teaching position at St Joseph’s Charlestown. Issac has been a wonderful asset to our school and a wonderful teacher for our Year 3 students. As a teacher in his first year of teaching, Issac has demonstrated many of the qualities that many experienced teachers have mastered . . . He is a good listener, he displays empathy and patience towards the students, and he has displayed a high level of adaptability in the requirement to shift from face-to-face learning to home-based learning. As a colleague, Issac thrives in a collaborative environment in which he values the advice and wisdom of his colleagues and contributes willingly to professional discourse. Issac will be a genuine asset to the staff of St Joseph’s, and we will certainly miss him here at St Patrick’s.

Fiona Walker will join the staff of St Patrick’s in 2022. Fiona has taught in Catholic schools in both the Diocese of Canberra/Goulburn and Broken Bay. Since January 2010, Fiona has been employed at Newcastle Grammar School as the school’s Religious Education Coordinator, Student Wellbeing Coordinator and Learning Support Coordinator. Central to her teaching philosophy is the belief that student wellbeing is paramount to learning, and she has a particular interest in the impact of positive psychology on the learning and wellbeing of students, and how to apply this through positive education practices. Fiona speaks very fondly of her Catholic education as a child in both the Josephite and Benedictine traditions.

Claire Browne and Layne Wiseman, who are currently engaged as temporary teachers at St Patrick’s, will again teach at St Patrick’s in 2022. Claire, Layne and Fiona were among a very strong field of candidates for the vacancies at St Patrick’s, and I am sure that you will join us in congratulating them on their appointments to St Patrick’s.

The staff of St Patrick’s for 2022 will be as follows:

  • Kindergarten teacher: Mrs Claire Browne
  • Year 1 teacher: Mrs Cheryl Ogden
  • Year 2 teacher: Mrs Louise Stewart
  • Year 3 Blue teacher: Mrs Liz Walker
  • Year 3 White teacher: Miss Layne Wiseman
  • Year 4 teachers: Mrs Fiona Walker (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu even weeks)
  • Mr Ben McCarthy (Thu odd weeks, Fri)
  • Year 5 teachers: Mrs Cathy Dent (Mon, Tue, Wed) / Mrs Cathy Curk (Thu, Fri)
  • Year 6 teachers: Mr Daniel Lockwood (4 days per week) / Mr Ben McCarthy (1 day per week)
  • Principal: Ms Lucy Harvey
  • Assistant Principal: Mr Ben McCarthy
  • Religious Education Coordinator: Mr Daniel Lockwood
  • Parish Priest: Fr Gerard Mackie
  • Learning support teacher: Mrs Kerry Cumming (2½ days per week)
  • Pedagogical mentor: Mrs Cathy Dent
  • Gifted education mentor: Mrs Cathy Curk
  • Aboriginal education teacher: Mr Ben McCarthy
  • Teacher librarian: Mrs Karen Devlin (Wed, Thu)
  • Release from face-to-tace teaching (RFF) teacher: Mrs Emma Tanchevski (Wed, Thu)
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) teacher: Mrs Susan Coull (½ day per week)
  • Counsellor: To be confirmed
  • Pastoral care worker: Mrs Lisa Ridgewell
  • Senior administration officer: Mrs Bronwyn Sartori
  • Learning support assistant: Mrs Lynne McMaster
  • Learning support assistant: To be confirmed
  • Learning support assistant: Mr Will McMaster
  • Library assistant: Mrs Margaux Windever
  • Library assistant: Mrs Fiona Phillips
  • Cleaner: Mrs Brigitte Thompson

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