The School Newsletter Week 3, Term 4 2019

What's Coming Up

Wednesday 30 October: St Mary's Year 7 2020 Orientation 9:00-12:00 for students & parent information night @ 7:00pm

Wednesday 30 October: P&F Meeting in the school library, beginning at 6.30pm. Please consider coming along to support the work of our Parents and Friends Association.

Thursday 31 October: Crazy Sock Day - Gold coin donation for Catholic Mission

Monday 4 - Wed 6 November: Life Education Program

Monday 4 Nov - Fri 15 Nov: Year 2 Daily swimming program

Thursday 7 November: Musica Viva school incursion

Thursday 7 November: Year 5/6M visit Tenison Apartments

Friday 8 November: K/5/6 Celebrate Mass in the @ 9:30 - All welcome.

From the Principal

Last Wednesday, four of our student leaders – Sophie, Oliver, Connor and Thomas – accompanied me to the annual Mission Mass at St Joseph’s Church, Toronto. This year, the focus of our fundraising for Catholic Mission is Ghana, a country of 30 million people in West Africa. At the Mass, we were told the story of Sarah who, at the age of four, was wrongly implicated in the deaths of fifteen people in her community, simply because she had a speech impediment. Many in Sarah's community, including her own family, became furious at her inability or unwillingness to speak and defend herself against the allegations, and they cast her out from the community.

Thankfully, Sister Stan Therese Mumuni and the local Church was made aware of the imminent danger Sarah was in. Sister Stan recalls fighting—almost physically—to save Sarah from the most terrible fate and give her a new chance at life.

Elsewhere in this newsletter, Mrs Leanne Hyland has published information about this Thursday’s Crazy Socks Day, a fundraising initiative that the students may join to show their support for Sister Stan. There is a crazy sock in every classroom for any other donations from families and friends. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.

This Week's PBL

Sock it to Poverty

During the month of October, we focus on our call to be Missionary Disciples, people who serve the world and stand for justice and the dignity of the human person. This year, the focus of our fundraising for Catholic Mission is Ghana, a country of 30 million people in West Africa.

Sister Stan has dedicated the last decade to running the Nazareth Home for God’s Children in Ghana, a haven where disabled children who are cast out by their communities are given shelter, nutritious meals, healthcare, education and unconditional love. At the Nazareth Home for God's Children, the children receive quality education so that they may one day gain employment and provide for themselves. Sister Stan's dream is that they will one day return to their home community and show how the love and support of the Church has empowered them to develop and reach their goals.

To support Sister Stan’s work, we are holding the following fundraising initiatives:

1. Crazy Socks Day – this Thursday (31st October) – Gold Coin Donation

The students may wear ‘crazy socks’ (any socks) to school on Thursday to show their support of Sister Stan in Ghana. The students are asked to bring a gold coin donation. A ‘crazy sock’ will be placed in the classrooms all week for any other donations that families and friends would like to make.

2. ‘Let’s Pray!’ Rosary Beads - $5 Donation

For $5, the students may purchase a set of Rosary beads and a booklet on how to pray the Rosary. During a lunch break in November, those students will be invited to pray the Rosary in the Church with me. Parents and grandparents will also be invited. If you would like to purchase one (or more) sets of Rosary beads, please send $5 per set to the school office, in an envelope, with your child’s name clearly written on the envelope.

Thank you for your generosity and outreach to the health and well-being of the children in Ghana!

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Leanne Hyland

Religious Education Coordinator

Reconciliation Information Night

  • Next week there will be a parent information session for the parish Reconciliation program.
  • Reconciliation is the beginning of the cycle of the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist, and students in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are eligible to enrol in the Reconciliation program.
  • There will be two information sessions:
  1. In the St Patrick’s Church meeting room on Thursday 7th November at 3.45pm, and:
  2. In the Belmont parish hall on Thursday 7th November at 7.00pm.
  • You are only required to attend one of the meetings.
  • If you will be attending the meeting, please phone the parish office as soon as possible on 4945 4402. You will need to let them know your name, your child’s name and your phone number.
  • If your child was baptised in another parish, you will need to bring to the meeting a copy of your child’s baptism certificate.
  • If your child was baptised in this parish, you will need to know the date of your child’s Baptism and the church in which he/she was baptised.
  • Parents . . . the sacramental programs are a wonderful opportunity for your children to participate more actively in the life of the Catholic Church. If your child has been baptised, please encourage him/her to continue this journey with Christ by engaging with the parish sacramental programs.

Samuel's Baptism

Last Sunday Samuel (Year 2) was baptised into the Catholic faith at St Patrick’s. Samuel’s mother, Emma, has described the occasion as “the most amazing day . . . Samuel was surrounded by family and God.” They described the day as marking “the beginning of his spiritual journey, one of which he is very committed and excited.”

Emma went on to say: “Samuel’s words were, when I tucked him into bed, “Mum, now I am with God and Jesus.” His little face was the happiest I have ever seen, bless him. I have baptised both children, Emily at 5 months and now Samuel at 7 years old, and I can honestly say that to share this with an older child was so special. We were able to share his excitement and he understood his commitment to God. I would also like to say a big thank you to Father Gerard, who made the morning so special. We feel blessed to have had him deliver the ceremony.”

The school community congratulates Samuel and rejoices with his family on the occasion of his initiation into the Catholic Church. We are very proud of you, Samuel!

Life Education

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, Life Education will visit St Patrick’s to deliver some important lessons that align with our Personal Development/Health syllabus:

Kindergarten: Harold’s Friendship: After building a model spaceship at school, Harold and his friends, Boots and Red, venture into an imaginary world in outer space. As the adventure unfolds children explore:

  • how to build friendships and care for others
  • feelings and emotions
  • safe and unsafe situations and early warning signs
  • safe places and people to turn to for help

Years 1 and 2: Safety Rules: Harold and his friends have gone camping, but when someone gets injured on a hiking expedition, how will they look after each other and make it back to camp? This module helps children to problem solve and focuses on:

  • recognising safe and unsafe environments
  • how to care for others
  • behaviours that maintain friendships
  • places and people who we can go to for help

Year 3: All Systems Go: Inside a futuristic machine ‘The Venture’, the Captain and his crew take the class on a tour of the human body. Travelling through the blood, the students will explore the functions of various body parts and how magnificent the human body really is. The students will discuss issues and engage in activities centred on:

  • Factors that influence the function of body systems such as nutrition, exercise and drugs
  • The impact food choices have on health and energy levels
  • Exploring ways to manage peer pressure
  • The effects of second hand smoking
  • The function of vital organs (heart, lungs, brain, kidneys)

Year 4: BCyberwise: This module focuses on cybersafety, cyber ethics and building positive relationships with friends online and offline. The students explore a range of issues such as password security, risks of sharing personal information, how to communicate respectfully both online and offline, and strategies to handle bullying including cyberbullying.

  • responsible and respectful behaviour when using communication technology
  • skills for building positive relationships with friends
  • keeping personal information safe online
  • strategies to deal with bullying and cyberbullying
  • exploring the role of bystanders

Years 5 and 6: Decisions: In today’s complex world it can be challenging for children to make safe, healthy decisions. The decision by some young people to use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs can prevent them from reaching their full potential. This module offers a choice of content on legal drugs or legal and illegal drugs. Students will explore the decision-making process and improve their decision-making skills by looking at choices, consequences, responsibility, facts, and influences. Topics covered will include:

  • What is a drug and how drugs are classified?
  • Effects of drugs on the body.
  • Analysing health messages about drugs in the media.
  • Messages around non-use – normative data – dispelling myths.
  • Influences on decision making – family, peers, media, culture, financial, legal.
  • Strategies and skills to be safe.

Below you will find information about Life Education merchandise. If your child wishes to purchase any of these products, they are asked to bring the cash to school and to pay the Life Education teacher directly. We will give them opportunities to make purchases. Please note that these purchases are entirely your decision, and that there is no expectation from the school that you purchase anything.

Year 2 Daily Swimming Program

Our daily two-week swimming program for Year 2 begins next week on Monday 4 November.

  • Where: Swansea Swimming Centre
  • When: Monday 4 November - Friday 15 November. Every day in weeks 4 & 5 of Term 4, 2019.
  • Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
  • Travel: Private bus travel – and car pool
  • Cost: Included in school fees
  • Wear: Swimmers underneath uniform

Maths in Yr 1 & 2

Some of the students in Years 1 and 2 have been exploring and applying concepts of skip counting, measuring length, 2D shapes and sharing equally to plan two vegetable gardens. They have used their designs to create two vegetable gardens on the playground. We are looking forward to a lunchtime feast when our vegetables are ready to be harvested!

Thank you Al

Al McMaster recently donated 23 size 5 soccer balls to the school. These will be a wonderful addition to pour sport supplies. On behalf of the school community, I thank Al for his generosity.

You Can Do It Education

We all want our children to achieve at school, to have positive behaviour and relationships, and to have strong emotional wellbeing. If we do not teach children the social-emotional skills of Getting Along, Organisation, Persistence, Confidence and Resilience, they will struggle to achieve their potential. At St Patrick’s we explicitly teach these ‘5 Keys’ during our You Can Do It lessons.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher or the learning support teacher, Rachel Wright.

Our You Can Do It parent training will take place on Tuesday 18th November from 2.00 to 3.00 in school library. Topic: A positive mindset for achievement (Confidence, Persistence, Organisation).

RSVP to rachel.wright@mn.catholic.edu.au

Rainbow Disco

What a wonderful night we had at our annual school disco last Tuesday evening! As always, it was an opportunity for the children to enjoy one another’s company, to make new friends and to bust out their best dance moves. Sincere thanks to Margaux Windever who coordinated the disco, and to the many other volunteers who also made the night possible: Linda Senior, Shermaine Fitzgerald, Cassandra Dodd, Jackie Miller, Fiona Layton, Jane Ayshford, Dana Cankova-Unwin, Mary Grace Tisdell, Belinda Newell, Rebecca Leahy and Dan Leahy. Thanks also to the students, parents and staff members who stayed behind after the disco to pack away and clean up.

Student Allocations in 2020

As you are aware, next year we will have two Year 1 classes, a Year 4/5 class and a Year 5/6 class. In allocating the Year 1 students and the Year 5 students to classes, it is important that we group them to ensure that their social and emotional needs are met. To this end, we rely on the advice of the parents and carers.

Parents of students in Year 1 2020: If you have a preference as to which other children you believe your children would work well with, please advise me by email.

Parents of students in Year 5 2020: If you have a preference as to which other children you believe your children would work well with, please advise me by email. If you have a preference for either Year 4//5 or Year 5/6, please advise me by email.

My email address is peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au.

We will do our best to accommodate the wishes of the parents and carers. However, we will also use our own professional judgment in regard to what is best for the students.

All requests should be submitted no later than Friday next week, 8th November.

Peter Green.

Congratulations Louise, Casey and Cathy

We recently received 30 applications to teach Year 2 at St Patrick’s in 2020. We are pleased to announce that, following a round of interviews last Friday, Louise Stewart was the successful applicant for this position. We know that you will join us in congratulating Louise on her appointment.

At the end of this year, Casey Sharman’s contract at St Patrick’s will expire. It has been a privilege to have worked alongside Casey for the past two years, as she brings great enthusiasm and energy to her work as a teacher. Casey has applied for a teaching position at St Francis Xavier Belmont, beginning in 2020, and she has been successful in her application. We congratulate Casey on her appointment and we wish her all the very best. There will be an opportunity at the end of this year to formally acknowledge and thank Casey for her contributions to St Patrick’s.

The Catholic Schools Office has created a new role in each of the diocesan primary schools, beginning in 2020. The role of Pedagogical Mentor will be one in which the teacher supports the principal with the educational leadership of the school community through modelling high quality teaching and leading teachers in the development and refinement of their teaching practice to improve student learning outcomes. Cathy Dent has applied for this role and she has been successful in her application. Cathy is an experienced teacher who has a very good grasp of all curriculum areas, who sets high expectations for herself and her students, and who values the importance of collaboration with her colleagues. She is, therefore, an ideal choice for this role. In this role, Cathy will continue to teach Year 5/6 for four days per week. Another teacher will be appointed to teach the class on the fifth day. We congratulate Cathy on this appointment.

Music News

Next week, there are two very exciting events taking place in the music department at St Patrick's – and both on the same day!

On Thursday 7th November at 9.00am, all of the students will be treated to a one hour concert by percussion ensemble B'Tutta, brought to us by professional musicians in the Musica Viva in Schools program. B'Tutta is a brilliant quartet with a gift for removing barriers for anyone who wants to make music. Students will be integrated into the group from the very beginning, and they will be encouraged to build courage and confidence to become conductors, composers and players. B'Tutta's inspirations are diverse, from Brazilian Samba to Tokyo subways, and their instruments range from marimbas to vibraphones to Latin American percussion.

The second event will take place at 12.30pm on the same day (Thursday 7th November). The students will sing a song they have learnt simultaneously with students from around Australia. The song "We Are" was composed by five students through the Music Count Us In 2019 program. It will be live streaming from Surfers Paradise this year from 12.00pm AEDT, ready for us to join in at 12.30pm.

These are two very exciting musical experiences for the students. I know they are looking forward to them immensely and that they will remember them for years to come.

Yours in music

Mrs Trish Aumuller

Music Teacher

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: Wednesday 27th November, 8.30am – 10.00am

WHERE: Meeting room in the back of the church.

Our Vision and Mission

Learning, loving and serving together through Jesus.

Following a period of discernment and consultation of the school and parish communities, we have developed a Vision and Mission Statement which we anticipate will guide us in our work at St Patrick’s over the next three years.

Our Vision Statement: Learning, loving and serving together through Jesus.

Our Mission Statement: We will:

  • Challenge and support one another to succeed through innovative, adaptive and holistic learning.
  • Promote and celebrate the uniqueness of each child as a gift.
  • Embrace our Josephite foundations by seeing a need and always taking action.
  • Acknowledge and honour our indigenous cultures.
  • Serve one another and be generous with love.

We thank those who engaged with this process. During Term 1 next year, we will unpack our Vision and Mission Statement, through the school newsletter, by sharing with the community how we see this statement playing out in our daily work at St Patrick’s.

Christmas Card Competition

The Federal Member for Shortland, Pat Conroy, is again inviting students from Years 3 and 4 from across his electorate to participate in his annual Christmas card competition. The theme for 2019 is “You and your pet at Christmas”.

The winning design will be professionally printed and will be Pat’s Christmas card for 2019. He will send the Christmas cards to every household in the electorate, as well as to community groups, Members of Parliament and the Governor General. The winning artist will receive books of their choosing to the value of $50. The winning school will receive books to the value of $100. Entries must be submitted on A4 size paper with the student’s name, age and school printed clearly on the back.

The competition closes on Wednesday next week (6th November) at 4.00pm, and they must be either:

  • Delivered to Pat’s electorate office at Suite 1A, 571 Pacific Highway, Belmont, or:
  • Mailed to PO Box 499, Belmont. 2280.

Canteen Roster

As you can see, we are still in desperate need of volunteers to work in the canteen this term. Are you a registered volunteer? Can you spare a few hours on a Friday? - Please contact the school office or Shermaine Fitzgerald ASAP with your availability. Without volunteers the canteen cannot open. - Thank you

Uniform Supplies

We have two dedicated volunteers who staff the uniform supplies every Friday morning from 8.30 to 9.30. Most of the parents and carers who use this service are very courteous; they understand that, as volunteers with their own children in the school, there are times when they might be running late or when other circumstances interfere what is normally a very streamlined operation. In offering this service, we are able to sell uniforms more cheaply than you would otherwise be able to purchase them in a retail outlet.

Unfortunately, there are a few parents and/or carers who do not appear to appreciate the important work being done by the volunteers. Impatience and a lack of manners are making it very difficult for our uniform shop volunteers to stay positive. “Good morning”, “Please” and “Thank you” make a big difference! Please understand that these people are not on the payroll, and that without their generous support, we would be unable to offer this service. You do not even have to come to the school to order a uniform; you may order directly through the QKR app.

We have decided to change the name of the service from the “Uniform Shop” to the “Uniform Supplies”. We hope that, by rebranding it, patrons might understand that the volunteers staffing the service are not on the payroll and, as with anybody, paid or voluntary, they deserve our respect and support.

Music Bus Concerts

Throughout this year, some of our students have had music lessons at the Music Bus on Monday mornings. This Saturday afternoon, those students will have the opportunity to show off everything they have learnt during the year. There will be keyboardists, guitarists, singers, drummers, ukulele players and rock bands performing for their family and friends on the big stage. All parents and families from St Patrick’s are warmly invited to attend our school's concert:

Date: Saturday 30th November 2019.

Time: 5.00pm.

Venue: Charlestown Central Leagues Club, 8 Bula Street, Charlestown.


Unless otherwise stated, the advertisements placed in this Newsletter are placed by independent third parties who have no legal relationship with the Diocese. The activities or services of the advertisers are not supervised or controlled in any way by the Diocese. The Diocese is not in a position to endorse the advertisers or the services provided and make no representation about those matters. Accordingly, the diocese cannot accept any responsibility for the advertisers or the activities or services that are the subject of these advertisements