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The School Newsletter Week 8, 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 - school closed
  • Tues 22 June: Semester 1 Parent/Teacher/Student interviews - bookings now open
  • Wed 23 June: Lakes athletics carnival
  • Fri 25 June: Last day Term 2
  • Wed 30 June: Schools fees due, if paying in full
  • Mon 12 July: Pupil Free Day
  • Tue 13 July: Students return for Term 3

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From the Principal

Great news for people who make their living from the land! I read last week that Australian farmers are forecasting a near record crop planting this winter on the back of healthy rainfall and strong prices. This is surprising, given that the mouse plague is causing a lot of damage to crops.

Interestingly, this weekend’s Gospel reading is Mark 4:26-34: “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

The Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of Heaven – can be a difficult concept to grasp. If your idea of God’s Kingdom is pie in the sky, angels playing harps while resting on puffy clouds . . . If you think of the Kingdom of God as something that will happen at the end of time, but has no connection to life right now, so you can go on living as you please . . . then you might want to consider this . . .

Jesus says the Kingdom is now. It is already in you. And it’s spreading like weeds. When the crop is ripe, you’d better have your sickle ready, because the harvest will happen immediately.

What does this look like? Every time you choose love instead of anger . . . every time you choose generosity instead of greed . . . every time you do something that makes a positive difference for somebody else instead of yourself . . . you are building the Kingdom of God here on earth.

The Kingdom of God is here and now, and all of us have a responsibility to be “Kingdom people”.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.

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THIS FRIDAY’S ASSEMBLY

This Friday we will begin our assembly at 2.10pm with the presentation of ribbons to placegetters at the recent school athletics carnival. At 2.30pm we will begin our regular assembly. Families are very welcome to join us in the hall for the assembly.

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KARATE KIDS

Last Saturday, Lacey (Year 6) travelled to Blacktown to compete with the team from Caves Beach Karate in the ‘Goshin Ryu’ national tournament. Lacey placed second in the sparring category and third in the kata category. Two weeks ago, Caves Beach Karate held its annual presentation ceremony. Lacey was named as the ‘Senior Of The Year’. Billie (Year 2) was presented with the ‘Junior Of The Year’ award. Egan (Kindergarten) received the trophy for the ‘Student Of The Month’.

Congratulations to Lacey, Billie and Egan. We love to share good news stories about our students’ achievements in their cultural and sporting interests. Please let us know when you have some good news for us.

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SCHOOL FEES

Payments of school fees can be made in one of two ways:

  1. Regular payment should have commenced by now, and must be finalised by 30th November 2021, or:
  2. Payment in full by 30th June 2021. Parents and carers have been asked to notify the school office if that is their intended mode of payment.

I am now working on the assumption that those parents and carers who have not commenced regular payments will be paying in full by 30th June 2021. Given that we are now almost halfway through the school year, it is unlikely that school fees discounts will not be negotiated.

Please note that it is a condition of attendance at the Year 5/6 overnight excursion (Term 4) and the Year 6 “Big Day Out” (Term 4) that school fees have been either paid in full or, for those parents with a payment plan, that those parents have honoured their commitment to pay regular installments of school fees. Click here to read our Excursion Policy, which is also available on our school website.

Peter Green

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SCHOOL REPORTS

On Friday this week, the Semester 1 reports will be published. You will receive a Compass notification to let you know when they are available. On Friday, your child will bring home a set of assessment tasks and work samples which should be read in conjunction with the reports. Please take the opportunity to affirm your children for their achievements and to set goals for the second half of the year.

On Tuesday 22nd June the teachers would like to meet with at least one parent or carer for each student. These meetings will take place via Zoom.

There is a considerable amount of work that goes into writing these reports, and I thank the teachers who have spent many evenings and weekends doing so.

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Semester 1 three-way Interviews: Tuesday 22 June

We are inviting all of our parents/carers to attend three-way interviews between student, parent/carer and teacher to discuss your child's initial assessment for the year. The meetings will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 22 June 2021.

Parents/Carers are asked to book a time using the COMPASS booking system, as follows:

  1. On a PC:
  • Log into the portal at https://swansea-nsw.compass.education/.
  • Click the ‘Book Parent/Teacher interviews’ link from the home page.
  • Follow the steps to select a teacher and a time.
  • Alternatively, click on ‘Community’ > then ‘Conferences’, and select the meeting that reflects your child’s year.

2. On a mobile app version of COMPASS:

  • Choose the three lines in the top left corner, and select ‘Conferences’.
  • You will then be able to book a teacher and a time.

No later than Monday 21 June 2021, you will receive an email invitation to a Zoom meeting from your child’s teacher. You will be asked to log into the Zoom meeting at your allotted booking time on the 22nd of June.

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PUPIL-FREE DAY: MONDAY 12TH JULY

Our final pupil-free day for this year will be on Monday 12th July. This would have been the first day of Term 3 for the students. This professional development opportunity, which will be facilitated by Michael Dennin (Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of California), will offer our staff the opportunity to examine the relationship between science and faith which, he argues, may be considered to be complementary ideas. Professor Dennin argues that you can be a person of faith and of science. We are very much looking forward to this opportunity, and we thank you for giving us this time to engage in issues that are very central to our roles as educators in a Catholic school.

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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

The canteen will now be open on the last Friday of this term for lunch orders, but closed for recess. Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers for keeping this service open.

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WEEKLY YOUTH GROUP PROPOSAL FOR CHILDREN AGED 5 TO 12

MN Youth is a new project that aims to offer primary-aged children a vibrant and engaging space to meet one afternoon each week where they can learn and explore the concept of ‘faith’ through friendship, fun and food! These weekly fun, action-packed sessions have been developed based around the Making Jesus Real philosophy.

The Children’s Ministry Advisory group is holding two information sessions that will unpack this new MN Youth project. These information sessions will:

  • Explain the ‘Making Jesus Real’ philosophy.
  • Explain the structure of an MN Youth Session.
  • Provide the details of what would be required including resources, hospitality, volunteers etc.
  • Discuss ideas and ‘where to from here?’

If you feel called to explore what contemporary children’s ministry might look like, we invite you to attend one of the following information sessions:

  • Thursday 10th June 5:00-6:00pm via Zoom.
  • Thursday 17th June 5:00-6:00pm at the Function Room, MacKillop Catholic Parish Pastoral Centre, 7 Milson Street, Charlestown.

For more information contact:

Natasha Brotherton, Diocesan Education Officer (Pastoral Ministries), ph 0407 589 935.

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