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The School Newsletter Week 7, Term 2 2021

What's Coming Up?

  • Fri 11 June: Early school assembly starting at 2.10pm. We will be awarding ribbons for our school athletics carnival.
  • Fri 11 June: Semester 1 reports published on Compass
  • Mon 14 June: Public holiday
  • Wed 23 June: Lakes athletics carnival
  • Fri 25 June: Last day Term 2
  • Wed 30 June: Schools fees due if paying in full

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From the Principal

Last Wednesday evening we officially dissolved our Parents and Friends Association to make way for a new model of engagement of our parents, carers and grandparents. The new model will be known as the Parent Engagement Group (PEG). Like the P&F Association, the PEG will continue to bring together parents, carers and teaching staff in a spirit of collaboration and close cooperation. Under the new model, there will be no office bearers, and so I thank the following people who have given their time and energy to our P&F Association over the past six months:

Jodie McIvor, a past president of the Association, was coaxed out of “retirement” to take over the leadership of the Association this year. Among Jodie’s attributes has been her capacity to communicate efficiently with people and keep people informed as to what is happening. As Jodie’s youngest child is in Year 6, she will leave our school community at the end of the year. I am very grateful for Jodie’s support over many years.

Margaux Windever, another long term member of the executive and our outgoing vice president, is a great organiser with a wonderful capacity to dream big and to bring people along for the ride. Margaux is a hard worker who delegates tasks efficiently. Many of our major events in the past few years have been possible because of Margaux’s drive and energy.

Mel Pasfield, our other vice president, has organised our Mothers’ Day stalls and Fathers’ Day stalls for many years. Like Margaux, Mel gets things done because she always manages to assemble a team of willing workers to ensure that every child has something special to give to their loved ones on those special days.

Liz Sharpe, our P&F secretary, has done a wonderful job of maintaining records of meetings and following up on matters after each meeting. Liz’s other role, along with Sharon Koller, is to coordinate our school uniform service. Both Liz and Sharon perform a valuable service in this role, and I am most grateful to them.

Vicki Raybould, our P&F treasurer, is indeed a treasure! Her eye for detail and her astute financial management have helped the P&F not only to maintain a healthy bank balance, but also to make a recent donation of $18,000 to the school. We have used this donation to fund the purchase of seven interactive LCD screens which are replacing the interactive whiteboards.

These five people were the executive members of our P&F Association. There are a number of other regular attendees at our P&F meetings whose roles will not disappear, and who will continue (at least in the short term) to serve the school in a variety of ways:

Anna Marriott, our school’s delegate to the Federation of Parents and Friends Associations, will continue to represent us at those Federation meetings. Anna is a wonderful link between our parent body and the parent bodies of the other 58 schools in our Diocese.

Sharon Koller and Liz Sharpe: See above . . . generous people who ensure that every student is appropriately attired in the school uniform. This is an incredibly demanding voluntary role, and both Sharon and Liz do an outstanding job. Sharon also coordinates the QKR orders for the canteen. Thank you, Sharon.

Shermaine Fitzgerald, our canteen coordinator, has arguably the most important job of anybody at St Patrick’s, including both paid employees and volunteers. Shermaine oversees the operation which keeps our students fed and watered every Friday. Funny that our lowest rate of absenteeism is on Fridays!

Belinda Newell, our canteen roster coordinator, ensures that the canteen is staffed each Friday. Belinda has done a great job of encouraging volunteers into working in the canteen, and I am very grateful to her for her hard work.

There are many people who work in a voluntary capacity to keep St Patrick’s running. None of those people seek any reward for their hard work, other than the personal satisfaction of knowing that they do a great job which ultimately pays dividends for our children. I sincerely thank each and every one of these people.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.

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YEAR 2 BLUE DEMANDS CHANGE!

Throughout this term, the students from Kindergarten to Year 6 are learning how to write a persuasive text. Each of the students of Year 2 Blue has written a letter to me in an effort to persuade me to introduce new subjects at St Patrick’s. The students have used some valid arguments to back up their requests.

  • Maddy, Gemma, Layla and Grace have put forward some compelling arguments to introduce ice skating to the curriculum.
  • Cooper B-T, Eloise and Jaymie believe that all students should be taught how to drive a car.
  • Sara and James would like to have fishing lessons at school.
  • Imogen believes that lessons in singing would further her career as an entertainer.
  • Sophie would like dancing lessons at school . . . Clearly, she knows that Mrs Browne has expertise in that area.
  • Cooper B, who aspires to play for the Knights, wants Rugby League to be introduced as a school subject.
  • Billie argues strongly for Karate as a school subject.
  • Mila, whose retro fashion design label will take her all over the world, would like lessons in tie dyeing.
  • Lucy would like to make a name as a spray paint artist, and would therefore like spray paint art to be taught at St Patrick’s.
  • Hugo has written a very persuasive letter suggesting surfing as a new subject.

In their written arguments, the students have used a number of devices that effective writers use to persuade others to agree with them. Congratulations to the students of Year 2 Blue for expressing their opinions so compellingly. Clearly, the ball is now in my court . . . Where do I begin to respond to some of these arguments?

Peter Green.

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COMMUNITY CONSULTATION FOR APPOINTMENT OF OUR NEW PRINCIPAL

Dear St Patrick’s Staff and Parents

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is advertising the position of Principal for St Patrick’s, Swansea. As I am sure you would agree, the appointment of a principal is a significant process for any school and associated community.

To enable community input in the selection process I invite you to participate in this short consultation survey. Information gathered from this survey will be used to guide applicants and the panel in the selection of the next Principal for St Patrick’s, Swansea. This survey has been designed using the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership's Australian Professional Standard for Principals.

You are invited to respond to each of the five domains from the principal standard. For principals of schools in our Diocese we have included the extra domain of Live Your Faith. The six domains of the survey are:

  • Live Your Faith
  • Leading Teaching and Learning
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Leading Improvement, Innovation and Change
  • Leading the Management of the School
  • Engaging and Working with the Community

It would be appreciated if you could complete the survey by Friday 4 June at 4.00pm.

If the above link does not work please type this address into your Browser: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SwansPrincipal

Thank you for your contribution to this important appointment for the Diocese.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Steven Lemos

Assistant Director

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Money Matters

As you are aware we have moved to an annual billing cycle. Fee statements will be sent out again this week via email - (be sure to check your junk folder). We ask that parents/carers that have not yet returned their Payment Frequency Form please complete and return it to the office as soon as possible.

We remind you that fee payments should have commenced by now, and if paying by instalment we ask that accounts are finalised by 30 Novemebr 2021. If you are paying in full please finalise prior to 30 June 2021.

Payments can be made via BPay, direct debit or credit card.

For families experiencing financial hardship, or wishing to discuss other payment arrangements please contact the Office.

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ATHLETICS CARNIVAL

We were blessed with perfect weather for last Friday’s school athletics carnival. There were many examples of great sportsmanship from the students throughout the day, including a number of instances of students congratulating one another on their performances. The behaviour of the students was equally pleasing. They cheered enthusiastically, they moved safely around the venue, and they left the venue in a neat and clean state.

Ben McCarthy and Daniel Lockwood did a wonderful job of organising the athletics carnival. Their attention to detail ensured that everything ran smoothly. Thank you Ben and Daniel!

Thanks also to the staff who worked so hard throughout the day, as well as the many volunteers who held stopwatches, raked long jump pits, measured shot puts and undertook so many of the jobs that needed to be done. We cannot offer such opportunities without your generosity.

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REGIONAL ALTHLETICS CARNIVAL

Congratulations to the following students who have qualified to represent St Patrick’s at the Regional Athletics carnival on 23rd June.

Boys

Aiden Bowmaker, Ashley Newell, Jacob Lynch, Hayden Wallwork, Evan Watkins, Ben McIvor, Jarvie Morris, Tyler Luttringer, Hugo Pasfield, Tyla Hope, Xavier Weet, Max Summers, Koby Morris, Evan Brennan, Banjo Hoskin, Nate Thornton, Elliot Wiseman-Santamaria

Girls

Lukah Thornton, Skye Porter, Madi Trembath, Lily Hope, Tamika Fitzgerald, Alivia Stedman, Florence De Champlain, Mia Porter, Lucy Collins, Sienna Parker, Ava McCullough-Hendriks, Sunshine West, Sienna Reddie, Layla Wass, Jessica Quiggin, Peppa Kelly, Hannah Adams, Emily Jack, Emma Wilks, Lara Windever, Millicent Windever and Evie Buchanan

Next Friday (11 June) at our school assembly we will award our ribbons for our school athletics carnival. This assembly will begin at 2.10pm.

Regional High Jump Entries

Students are eligible to enter the Regional Athletics Carnival for High Jump based on verified Little Athletics results. If your child meets the qualifying height and you can provide evidence, please contact the school office by Wednesday 9th June.

Qualifying Heights:

  • Junior boys and girls /0.9m
  • 11 yrs boys and girls /1.00m
  • Senior 12/13 yrs boys and girls /1.05m

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Uniform service closed this week

Our parent volunteers who coordinate the uniform service, Liz and Sharon, are also volunteering in the canteen this week. Therefore, there will be no face-to-face uniform service available this Friday morning. All uniform orders placed on QKR before 5pm Thursday will be filled and distributed. Thank you for your understanding.

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ATTENTION: PARENTS AND CARERS OF KINDERGARTEN 2022 STUDENTS

Last week I wrote in the newsletter about proposed meetings with the parents of next year’s Kindergarten students. The date proposed has been moved to a date early in Term 3, which we are yet to determine. Apologies for the wrong information.

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R.I.P. LINDSAY YATES

Please remember in your prayers Lindsay Yates, father of Sally Collins, father-in-law of Adam, and dear grandfather of Lucy (Year 3) and her older brothers Sam and Lachlan. Lindsay, who passed away last Saturday morning after a brief illness, was well known to us at St Patrick’s. He was a very musical person, and he did a good deal of voluntary work here several years ago in preparation for an end-of-year Christmas concert.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

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MINI VINNIES WINTER APPEAL

Every night in Australia a child asks “Where are we going to sleep tonight?” and Mum and Dad don’t have an answer.

Before COVID-19 hit, more than 25,000 Australian children under the age of 18 were facing homelessness each night. Today, that number is much higher. Child homelessness is the most painful reminder of the importance of ‘the hand up’ offered by St Vincent de Paul Society. When hardship affects families, whether it be through unemployment, chronic illness or an impossible housing market, they can always turn to Vinnies for help.

St Patrick’s Mini Vinnies group are collecting items to assist the homeless to stay warm and clean this winter. Each family will receive a large Vinnies plastic bag, we are asking families to fill with donations of warm, clean clothing and blankets. These warm winter donations can be placed in the collection bin on the Year 6 balcony.

This year we are also making up hygiene packs to be distributed to the local homeless community. We require donations of the following items:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothbrush holders or covers
  • Toothpaste (small travel size)
  • Cotton buds (small travel size)
  • Deodorant (small travel size)
  • Shampoo (small travel size)
  • Shower caps
  • Soap
  • Soap holders
  • Tissues (purse size packs)
  • Hand sanitizer (small travel size)
  • Combs
  • Emery boards

If you are able to contribute any of the above items, please place them the collection box in the school office.

All of the items collected will be given to the Swansea Chapter of the St Vincent de Paul Society for distribution to the homeless in our local area. We thank you for your generosity in giving to people in need in our local community.

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Canteen Roster

If you are a registered volunteer and able to offer some of your time in the canteen, please contact Belinda Newell.

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PArent Engagement Group

As I have mentioned earlier in this newsletter, a “Parent Engagement Group” (PEG) will replace our P&F Association. The PEG will continue to bring together parents, carers and teaching staff in a spirit of collaboration and close cooperation. There will be a strong focus in this new model on educating parents, carers and grandparents on matters that they wish to learn about. Each meeting will therefore have an educative component which will last for 30 to 40 minutes.

The meetings will take place on Wednesday evenings during weeks 2 and 7 of each school term.

Face-to-face meetings will be 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. (Tea, coffee and light refreshments from 7.15pm).

Zoom meetings will commence at 7.30pm.

All meetings and will finish no later than 9.00pm – earlier if required.

The meetings will take place alternately face-to-face in the school library and by Zoom. Hence, the meetings for the remainder of this year will take place on:

  • Wednesday 21st July: Face-to-face.
  • Wednesday 25th August: Zoom.
  • Wednesday 13th October: Face-to-face.
  • Wednesday 17th November: Zoom.

The first of our PEG meetings will have as its educative component an information session on reading. This session will be run by three of our teachers - Cathy Dent, Liz Walker and Karen Devlin. Cathy, Liz and Karen are experienced educators who have a great deal to offer in this area. Specifically, the sessions will cover the following topics:

  • How do we teach reading at school?
  • How can parents and carers help our children with their reading?
  • Suggestions regarding what texts the children should be reading at home.

A typical agenda for a PEG meeting might look like this:

  1. Acknowledgement of Country and Prayer
  2. Brief reports (principal, financial, canteen, uniform and fundriasing projects)
  3. Educative component (30-40mins)
  4. Other submitted agenda items
  5. Questions (submitted to the Principal prior to the meeting)
  6. Details of the next meeting (including educative focus, date and format)

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HOCKEY RESULT

Last week, Ben (Year 6) represented Polding at the NSWPSSA Primary Schools Hockey Championships. Polding progressed through to the grand final, losing 2-0 to North Coast in a very tight game. To have played in a grand final at this elite level is an outstanding achievement, and we are very proud that one of our own students was in the team. Congratulations Ben!

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OUR STUDENTS LOVE TO WRITE!

Our students are currently learning to write persuasive texts, in which the students attempt to persuade their readers to their point of view. On most days I chose one or two students to speak with me about their writing. Last week I had a lovely conversation with Zahli (Year 4) who was very keen to talk to me about her latest persuasive text. I thought you might like to read what Zahli has written:

Zahli has used a number of persuasive devices in this piece of writing, including high modality language and rhetorical questions. We encourage our students to critically evaluate their writing in order to determine how to improve their writing. Congratulations, Zahli. I enjoyed reading this piece.

Peter Green.

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Year 4 Make a Wish

Our Year 4 students recently ran a raffle in order to raise funds for their charity of choice - the 'Make a Wish Foundation'. The raffle was a huge success, with the winner taking home a jar of lollies and the runner up a bag of lollies. The class raised a total of $222.50. Congratulations Year 4!!

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PASTORAL SURVEY

A Pastoral Survey was recently administered to the students of Years 4, 5 and 6. The students were asked questions in relation to their experiences of bullying at school – (physical, verbal, social and cyberbullying). Each student was asked whether they would like a follow-up conversation with an adult at school and, if so, to nominate any adults whom they would feel comfortable to speak with. These conversations began today. The data that we are gathering from the survey and the conversations will be treated with the upmost sensitivity. We are using the information to build a picture of how safe the students feel at school, and to put in place systems and programs that will enable us to maintain a school environment where our students feel safe.

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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

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