What's coming up
- Thurs 3 Dec: Children's University Visit (certificate presentation)
- Fri 4 Dec: Book Fair closes
- Fri 4 Dec: STEM DAY - Out of uniform
- Fri 4 Dec: 2021 leadership speeches and voting - (live streamed on Facebook)
- Fri 4 Dec: Semester 2 report published on Compass
- Tues 8 Dec: End-of year award ceremony 1.30pm (live streamed on Facebook)
- Thurs 10 Dec: Kindergarten Orientation #2 - 9.30am - 11.30am
- Thurs 10 Dec: P&F Christmas Fundraiser Fun Day - out of uniform
- Fri 11 Dec: School Swimming Carnival
- Fri 11 Dec: Canteen Closed!
- Tues 15 Dec: Year 6 graduation Mass and ceremony (by invitation only)
- Wed 16 Dec: Last day for students
From the PrinciPAL
At this time of the year, many students and their parents are eager to know about staffing in 2021. I had intended to have this information ready by today, but unfortunately there have been a few delays that have been beyond our control. It looks as if the staffing will not be finalised until late December or January. Nevertheless, I can advise you of some decisions that have already been made, and I will let you know of further developments as they come to hand.
There will be eight classes at St Patrick’s in 2021:
- 1 x Kindergarten
- 1 x Year 1
- 2 x Year 2
- 1 x Year 3
- 1 x Year 4
- 1 x Year 5
- 1 x Year 6
Leanne Hyland has resigned from her position at St Patrick’s as her family has decided to move further north. Leanne has secured a teaching position at St Joseph’s Wauchope, beginning in 2021. There will be an opportunity in a later edition of this newsletter to pay tribute to Leanne for her work at St Patrick’s throughout the last two years.
Having advertised and interviewed for Leanne’s role of Religious Education Coordinator, Daniel Lockwood has been appointed to the position. With a Masters Degree in Theology and experience in this role at St Mary’s Warners Bay, Daniel is well qualified and experienced to step into this role, and I am confident that he will build on the work that Leanne has undertaken in the last two years.
Cathy Dent will continue in her role as our Pedagogical Mentor in 2021, although the allocation of time for this role has been increased to two days per week. Cathy will teach alongside Cathy Curk (‘Team Cathy’) in Year 4 – Cathy Dent for three days per week, and Cathy Curk for two days. Cathy and Cathy have very similar approaches and philosophies to teaching and they are very excited to have this opportunity to be working with this group of students.
Cathy Curk has been appointed as our Gifted Education Mentor in 2021. This role has an allocation of one day per week. Cathy has almost completed a Masters Degree in Gifted Education, and she is very keen to have this opportunity to put into practice the studies that she has undertaken for the last few years.
Jessica Kuterovac will join the staff from Corpus Christi Primary School, Waratah. Jessica has a keen interest in STEM, visual learning and inquiry-based learning. At this stage I cannot confirm which class Jessica will teach.
Claire Browne will join the staff from St Patrick’s Primary School, Wallsend. Claire speaks passionately about wanting to teach her students to become “agile and adaptable thinkers, ready for the future, and to inspire them to be innovative problem solvers.” Again, I cannot confirm which class Claire will teach.
In regard to class allocations, nothing is set in stone, but it looks as if the following pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place:
- Liz Walker will teach Kindergarten.
- Cheryl Ogden will teach Year 1.
- Louise Stewart will teach one of the Year 2 classes.
- Daniel Lockwood (4 day per week) and Ben McCarthy (1 day per week) will teach Year 5.
In addition to the above appointments, the following positions will continue into 2021:
- Peter Green: Principal
- Ben McCarthy: Assistant principal
- Rachel Wright: Learning support teacher
- Karen Devlin: Teacher librarian
- Emma Tanchevski: RFF (Release from face-to-face teaching) teacher
- Bronwyn Sartori: Senior School Officer/Bursar
- Sue Coull: EALD (English as an Additional Language or Dialect) teacher
- Melanie Dawson: Counsellor
- Lisa Ridgewell: Pastoral care worker
- Lynne McMaster: Learning support assistant
- Will McMaster: Learning support assistant
- Toni Curley: Learning support assistant
- Margaux Windever: Library assistant
- Fiona Phillips: Library assistant
- Brigitte Thompson: Cleaner
Have a good week.
BOOK Fair IS OPEN
Please return your wish list pre-paid orders or bring along some cash this week to purchase from the book fair.
From The REC
St. Vincent de Paul fundraiser – This Friday 4th December
Every year we love to support the St. Vincent de Paul Swansea Conference. St Vinnies helps families in our local area who are doing it tough by providing them with home visits and vouchers for food and utility bills. In previous years we have bought gifts of love (like toys, lollies, chocolates). This year, due to COVID-19, we have been asked to give cash donations. We encourage students to bring a cash donation this Friday or donate online https://donate.vinnies.org.au/christmas-appeal
Year 6 Graduation Mass
Our Year 6 Graduation Mass and Ceremony is fast approaching. It will be held in the Church on Tuesday 15th Dec at 10.00am. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, family/community attendance will be by invitation only. The Year 6 students will be allowed to invite two family members to the ceremony. The Year 5 students and some staff members will also attend. Unfortunately, it will not be a whole school event. We look forward to honouring the development and achievements of our Year 6 students in this intimate gathering.
"The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before.
It is not possible to keep it from coming, because it will.
That's just how Advent works.
What is possible is not to see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you.
And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God's hindquarters fade in the distance.
So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.
There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing.
For now, stay.
Something is on the horizon."
~ from Night Visions by Jan Richardson
Advent is a season in the Church’s life intended to renew the experience of waiting, and longing, for the Messiah. Though Christ has already come into the world, the Church invites us to renew our desire for the Lord more deeply into our lives, and to renew our desire for Christ’s triumphant second coming into the world.
Advent is the time in which we prepare for Christmas, the memorial of Jesus Christ being born into the world. Preparations are practical, like decorating a tree or stringing lights, but they’re also intended to be spiritual.
During Advent, we’re invited to enter more frequently into silence, into prayer and reflection, into Scripture, and into the sacramental life of the Church, all to prepare for celebrating Christmas.
Students are learning about Advent and Christmas in our Religious Education programs. Here are some ways to celebrate Advent at home: https://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2017/11/six-ways-to-celebrate-advent-at-home/
Christmas Gift Ideas
With Christmas only weeks away, have you thought of giving your child a Christ centered gift.
Here are some suggestions of gifts that are faith based and encourage prayer.
- Youcat for kids (Catechism for kids)
- Olive wood holding cross
- Children’s bible
- Cross necklace/braclet
- Rosary beads
‘STEM’ DAY: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS
- This Friday (4th December) the students will participate in a STEM day at school. They will use their engineering skills to design and build, they will do some experiments and they will undertake some interesting challenges.
- The students are invited to come to school out-of-uniform, with closed footwear that is appropriate for running around.
- Please note: One of the experiments involves food colouring which will be used under teacher supervision, Nevertheless, we advise your child not to wear their best clothes.
- We are looking forward to a day when we can all be Curious Creatures.
Christmas Fun Day
On Thursday 10th of December the P&F have organised a Christmas fundraiser for the school. and students have the option to come to school dressed in their favourite Christmas outfit.
Have you purchased your Christmas Raffle tickets yet? There are fabulous prizes to be won! All students should have received their booklet of tickets. Tickets are $1 each and all money/tickets are to be returned to school by Monday 7th Dec.
Prizes this year include:
- Swansea RSL: Gift vouchers
- Blacksmiths Family Meats: Hams and Gift Vouchers
- Candles from The Local Yolk
- Sage Style & Co: Preserved Floral Arrangements
- Woolworths, Swansea: Hampers
- Coles, Swansea: Hampers
- Make & Bake Packs: St Patricks P&F
Don’t forget to send money along with the kids to purchase Christmas Decorations at the Christmas Stall, be a part of the Guessing Competition and to buy more Raffle Tickets on the day!
STUDENT LEADERSHIP SpeEches
Yesterday the students of Year 5 undertook a day of leadership training in preparation for their roles as student leaders in 2021. Thanks to Daniel Lockwood who facilitated the day of leadership training. Many of our Year 5 students will deliver speeches to the students and staff this Friday morning in an attempt to persuade the students and staff that they are the best candidates for the student leadership positions in 2021. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions prevent parents and other family members from attending the speeches, but they will be live streamed through our Facebook page. The boys will be up first beginning at 9.10am. The girls will follow beginning at appox 9.40am
END-OF-YEAR AWARDS CEREMONY
Our annual end-of-year awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday next week (8th December), beginning at 1.30pm.
At the ceremony, three prize awards per class will be presented for:
- Academic achievement
- Consistent effort and application
- Community builder
There will be entertainment provided by the students (singing and dancing) with COVID-safe precautions in place, as well as the presentation of the two major awards:
- The MacKillop award for dedicated service to our school community, and:
- The Sportsperson of the Year award.
The awards ceremony will include a farewell to those families who will be leaving St Patrick’s. Our school captains will have an opportunity to share with us their reflections on the school year and on their years at St Patrick’s, and the student leaders for 2021 will be announced. The ceremony will conclude with a slide show of the highlights of 2020 at St Patrick’s. This slide show will be made available afterwards through our usual channels of communication.
Unfortunately, COVID restrictions restrict parents and family members from attending the ceremony, but it will be live streamed through our Facebook page, beginning at 1.30pm.
Snacks are back! A special treat for the last week of canteen! Items in the recess refuelling menu will be available to order via the Qkr app. (Absolutely no cash sales). You can preorder and choose if you would like it at lunch or recess or maybe both!
If it all works out this will continue next year! 🤞🏼
Let’s end the year on a high! I’m am sure everyone will enjoy an end of year lunch order and a special treat!
Shermaine and Sharon
Focus on Positive Behaviour for Learning
2020 NEWCASTLE PERMANENT SCHOOLS MATHEMATICS COMPETITION
The students of Years 5 and 5 recently competed in the Newcastle Permanent Primary Schools Mathematics Competition. We are proud of all of the students who entered the competition. We particularly acknowledge the following students who received Distinction awards and Merit awards:
- Sheridan (Percentile rank 94.08)
- Tamika (81.63)
- Jagger (81.63)
- Lacey (74.89)
- Peppa (72.84)
- Evan (72.84)
- Alicia (70.71)
- Annabelle (58.74)
- Alex (90.61)
- Ayla (81.80)
- Jemima (71.29)
- Dylan (67.61)
- Layla (65.41)
- Summer-Rose (58.72)
BIKE EDUCATION: YEARS 5 & 6
A reminder that the students of Years 5 and 6 are invited to bring their bikes to school on Monday next week (7th December) – not this Thursday as the students were originally advised. On that day, I will teach the students about the importance of maintaining their bikes so that they are safe to ride. Among other things, they will be shown how to clean their bikes, lube the chain, inflate the tyres and check the brakes. If your child does not have a bike, or if it is not easy to bring it to school, that will not be a problem . . . they may work on another student’s bike.
THANK YOU, REBEKAH
For the past four weeks, Rebekah Kennedy, a student teacher from the University of Newcastle, has been working alongside Daniel Lockwood in Year 4/5. Rebekah will finish her appointment this Friday. We thank Rebekah for her contributions to St Patrick’s and we wish her well as she pursues a career in teaching. Thanks also to Daniel for having mentored Rebekah.
FREE ST MARY'S BOYS UNIFORMS
- 2 x Formal Shorts J14
- 2 x Formal shirts J12 (some stains) Free
- 1 x sports shirt J10
Worn but ok condition. Great for spares.
Contact: Kate 0448 102 488
SCHOOL UNIFORM SERVICE
Please note that the school uniform service will not open during the school holidays. The first opportunity in 2021 to collect your uniform orders will be Friday 29th January, with QKR orders closing at 5.00pm on 28th January.
LAKE MAC AWARDS
It’s time to give Lake Macquarie’s sporting greats, young citizen stars, accomplished artists, environmental warriors and volunteers recognition for their achievements and for making a positive difference to our community by nominating them for a 2021 Lake Mac Award. Nominate a person or group that has demonstrated excellence in their endeavours by Friday 11 December 2020 - lakemac.com.au/lakemacawards
OUR NEW PARENTS & FRIENDS ASSOCIATION (P&F) EXECUTIVE
Last week’s P&F Annual General Meeting was an opportunity to express our appreciation to those members of the 2020 P&F executive who served us so well during what has been a difficult year. The P&F is not a hand-picked group of people; it is a group of parents, grandparents and friends of St Patrick’s School who wish to contribute to the day-to-day operations of the school. I sincerely thank the outgoing P&F executive who I rely on so heavily for their wisdom, their advice and their willingness to get a job done. I wish to pay particular tribute to Kelly Wijnans, who stepped into the role of P&F President two years ago and who, throughout that time, has provided us with leadership, guidance and a capacity to bring people together in the pursuit of a common goal. Thank you, Kelly. In your role as our P&F President, you have been a gift to our school.
The following people were elected to the P&F executive for 2021:
- President: Held over.
- Vice president: Margaux Windever.
- Vice president: Mel Pasfield.
- Secretary: Liz Sharpe.
- Treasurer: Vicki Raybould.
- Federation delegate: Anna Marriott.
- Federation delegate: Held over.
- Uniform service coordinator: Sharon Koller.
- Canteen coordinator: Shermaine Fitzgerald.
- Canteen QKR coordinator: Sharon Koller.
- Canteen roster coordinator: Belinda Newell.
I thank these generous people for the many hours of voluntary work that they do in our school, and I am looking forward to working with them in 2021.
As you can see, there are two positions for which there were no nominations:
- President, and
- A Federation Delegate to attend meetings with Anna.
If you would like to consider nominating yourself for one of these roles, and/or if you would like more information about what those roles entail, please do not hesitate to contact me. It would be lovely to have a few new faces at our meetings. We have decided to run all of our future meetings via Zoom (except for the February 2021 meeting), so that you may attend them from the comfort of your homes rather than venturing out into the night.
Thank you in anticipation of your support for our P&F.