The School Newsletter Week 6, Term 4 2019

What's Coming Up

Wed 20 Nov - Fri 22 Nov: Year 5/6 Camp Pt/Wolstencroft

Thursday 21 Nov: Year 1 visit Tenison Apartments

Friday 22 November: Year 1 & 2, 3 & 4 will celebrate Mass this Friday at 9.30am in the church. Parents and families are warmly invited to join us.

Tuesday 26 November: 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

Thursday 28 November: Volunteers Thank You Morning Tea

From the Principal

As you would be aware, we have recently reviewed our school’s vision statement. In reviewing the vision statement, we reflected on the great debt of gratitude that we owe to the Sisters of St Joseph who founded our school in 1952. We are very proud of our Josephite tradition, and we have added to our school website a brief history of our school: http://www.swansea.catholic.edu.au/our-history.html

The Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar, trace their origins to Mother Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods who co-founded the Order of the Sisters of St Joseph in 1866. In that year, Mary MacKillop and her Sisters began teaching children in a converted stable in Penola, South Australia. The Sisters’ purpose was to provide a Catholic education for poor families.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Swansea, was opened on Tuesday 29th January 1952 with 30 students in attendance. The parish priest at that time was Fr Leo Boyle. Built at a cost of 5,500 pounds, Swansea Parish was part of the Archdiocese of Sydney. It was not until 1st January 1966 that the parish was incorporated into the Diocese of Maitland.

In those early years, St Patrick’s School was staffed by the Sisters of St Joseph. Its founding principal was Sr Virgilius Perkins. In those early days the nuns, who lived at Belmont, travelled to the Black Neds Bay wharf by rowboat, where they moored the boat, and walked to the school which, at that time, was located on the site of what is now the McDonalds restaurant in Swansea. Local legend has it that, on more than one occasion, the boat capsized and gave the Sisters an additional bath for the day!

In 1971, the school was rebuilt on the original site at McDonalds. At that time, “The Lake Macquarie Herald” wrote a feature article on the school. The journalist described the new school as “the first of its kind in New South Wales”, with modern amenities such as carpeted floors; large windows designed to allow maximum light into the classrooms; curved blackboards designed to eliminate glare; a television in each classroom; and two wall mirrors in the toilet block!

In 1977/78, the school was relocated to its present site on the shore of Black Neds Bay. The church, classrooms and cottages were transported on large trucks from the original site. Sr Ellen Shanahan was the principal at the time of this move. It was Sr Ellen who developed our present school logo and school motto, ‘Grow In Hope’.

In 2006 the school was demolished to make way for the buildings which we currently occupy. The new school was blessed and officially opened by Bishop Michael Malone on 23rd February 2007.

The words of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop have a powerful resonance for us at St Patrick’s: “Gratitude is the memory of the heart . . . Be full of hope in God who has been good to us all.” Indeed, we owe a great debt of gratitude to the Sisters of St Joseph and the early parishioners of Swansea, who saw a need for a Catholic school and allowed it to grow. The Gospel message calls us to “Grow In Hope”. With a rich tradition of Josephite education, the future of our students is filled with hope.

Have a good week.

Peter Green

This Week's PBL

From The REC

1. Upcoming liturgies

Please join us at the following liturgies:

  • This Friday (22nd November) at 9.30am: Years 1, 2, 3 & 4 Mass, in the church.
  • Monday 2nd December at 9.15am: Advent & Gifts of Love liturgy, at our sacred space.
  • Tuesday 17th December at 10.00am: End-of-year Mass and Year 6 Graduation Ceremony, in the church.

2. Gifts of Love – for St. Vincent de Paul, Swansea area

We thank you for the many gifts that we have already received for the St Vincent de Paul Society. We ask that you send your gifts to the school by Tuesday next wee, 26th November.

  • Kindergarten: Small ‘new’ toys (unwrapped).
  • Year 1: Christmas lollies.
  • Year 2: Christmas chocolates.
  • Year 3: Christmas cakes/puddings.
  • Year 4: Christmas snacks (nuts, pretzels, chips, etc).
  • Year 5: Christmas crackers / bon bons.
  • Year 6: Christmas biscuits/puddings.

3. Christmas Gift Ideas

With Christmas only weeks away, have you thought of giving your child a Christ-centred gift?

Here are some suggestions of gifts which are faith-based and which encourage prayer:

  • Youcat for kids (Catechism for kids) – see picture below.
  • Olive wood holding cross.
  • Children’s bible.
  • Cross necklace/bracelet.
  • Rosary beads.
  • Crucifix.

Koorong (https://www.koorong.com/) and St Paul’s (http://www.stpauls.com.au/book-centre) are two companies that sell religious items

Do you or your child have questions about our Catholic Faith?

I have found the perfect book to help you and your children learn more about our faith in a child-friendly and simplistic way. When my family was in Ireland last year for the 'World Meeting of Families' we received a copy of the YOUCAT for Kids as a gift from Pope Francis and I think it is fabulous. It is a Catholic Catechism for children and parents and explains - How the World and All that Exists came to Be, The Creed - 12 Facts About God, The Sacraments, The Commandments, Prayer and the Life of Jesus. It is beautifully illustrated.

Pope Francis said, "Dear parents, keep this little catechism with you and take the time to contemplate it together with your children page by page, mystery of faith by mystery of faith, question by question. Help your children discover the love of Jesus! It will make them strong and brave . . ."

I have left a copy at the office for you to view. You can purchase from 'Freedom Publishing books".

4. Praying the Rosary

Last Friday, Rosary beads were given to those students who placed an order. A large group of enthusiastic students gathered to learn to pray the Rosary in the church at recess last Friday. Each student received a booklet on how to pray the Rosary. If you would like information on praying the Rosary, please ask me to send you a booklet.

Leanne Hyland

Religious Education Coordinator

ICAS Maths Results

Recently, nine of our students entered the University of NSW ICAS Mathematics Competition, and we are very proud of their efforts:

  • Participation awards: Flynn F, Layla W, Tamika F, Charlotte C, Kate E and Tomas M.
  • Merit award: Dylan W (top 45% of students in Australia).
  • Credit award: Jagger W (top 26%), Emma W (top 29%).

These students were presented with their certificates at last Friday’s school assembly.

Kindergarten Orientation #3

Next year’s Kindergarten students visited St Patrick’s for the third and final time last Friday before they begin at “big school” in 2020. Thanks to Liz Walker, Cheryl Ogden and the Year 4 students for making the children feel so welcome.

Year 5/6 Camp

Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday the school will be somewhat quieter than usual as our Years 5 and 6 students head down to Point Wolstoncroft for their camp. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to stay in touch with their program of activities. We thank Cathy Dent and Ben McCarthy for taking time away from their families to give our students this opportunity.

Volunteers' Morning Tea

Last week we sent home invitations to volunteers who have worked at St Patrick’s in 2019. The morning tea will take place on Thursday next week at 9.15am in the school hall. For catering purposes, please RSVP no later than Monday next week (25th November) to the school office.

Teaching and Learning

Some of our Years 1 and 2 students have been investigating the features of containers that make them most suitable for watering a garden. What makes a container easy to fill? What will make it easy to carry? What will make it easy to pour water from your container? Will your container be big enough to give your plants enough water? The students then had to design a watering device that would satisfy all of the criteria that we had investigated.

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 give their time and expertise to running our uniform service. Please remember to express your gratitude to them.

Safety On The Roads

Last Wednesday afternoon there was a near miss between a car and a bike on the corner of Nash Street and Northcote Ave just after the students were dismissed from school. Having investigated the incident, there are a number of conflicting accounts as to what happened. More importantly, however, the bike rider sustained no physical injury, although both the rider and the driver were quite shaken up by what could have been a tragic event.

Regardless of what happened, the incident serves as a timely reminder to both bike riders and motorists of safe riding and driving. I am a bike rider and a car driver, so I can appreciate the hazards from both perspectives. Just this year I have come very close to being hit twice by drivers while riding my bike, in spite of the fact that I consider myself to be a careful rider. As a motorist, I also appreciate the difficulty that drivers experience when bike riders seemingly appear from nowhere, in spite of the precautions that I take.

The following advice is general in nature and is not intended to attribute blames to either party in last Wednesday’s near miss:

Children who ride bikes are still developing many of the skills they need to be safe in a road traffic environment. They are physically small, making it harder for drivers to see them. They may be easily distracted and tend to only be able to focus on one thing at a time. This means that they can find it difficult to deal with sudden changes in the traffic environment.

Your child may be able to tell you the road rules and how to keep safe near, in and around vehicles but, in reality, they will not always be able to apply them. That is why it is important for parents/carers and their children to plan a safe journey to and from school together.

Drivers should look regularly in their rear and side mirrors to let them know what is happening behind and beside their vehicle. However, pedestrians, especially children and people using mobility scooters, can be difficult to see in your mirrors, so you need to do a head check to look over your left and right shoulders. Other road users can act unpredictably so be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.

Peter Green

Book Club Orders

All students should have received the last Book Club catalogues for this year. This is a bumper issue with lots of great ideas for Christmas. If you wish to purchase books as a surprise there is an option to do so through the online ordering option. Alternatively, if you order through the catalogue, please make a note that you would like it as a gift and we will hold it aside. Book club orders are due by Monday 25th of November.

Survey: Can You Help Our Year 5/6 Students?

In their current unit of work in Geography, the students of Years 5 and 6 are studying people’s perceptions of Russia. To help them with their work, we are asking parents, other family members and friends of your family to spend a few minutes in completing a survey? You will find the survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QWXXTHQ

Thank you for your support. We appreciate it!

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.

The Praise and Worship band will be performing as well as a Nativity scene and Christmas carols sung by the students.

More details to follow next week.

Canteen Volunteers Needed

As you can see there are currently no volunteers to operate the Canteen this Friday and more needed for the rest of 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.


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