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The School Newsletter Week 2, Term 4 2021

From the Principal

As the students return to school, the next few weeks could present some challenges for families. Our school counsellor, Melanie Dawson, and our pastoral care worker, Lisa Ridgewell, have supplied some excellent resources that parents and carers may use with their children as they prepare for the return to school. Those resources have been sent to you with this newsletter.

Some of the best advice in these resources includes the following:

  1. Reassure your child that it is safe to go to school.
  2. Re-establish normal routines in the lead-up to school. These routines will include wake-up and bedtime routines, meal routines, packing school bags and preparing school uniforms. If these routines are discussed and practised in the days leading up to the return to school, there will be less likelihood of stress on the first morning of school. If the children are calm and prepared on the first morning of school, they will be more likely to come to school in a positive mood and ready to engage with their learning.
  3. If your child is feeling anxious about returning to school, remind them of their resilience. Remind them of when they showed resilience when they started school, or when they practised a new skill (e.g. swimming) until they had mastered it.

Please take the time to read Melanie’s resources. It is vital that we give the children as much support as possible in facilitating their smooth transition back to school. Do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher if you need support in managing the transition.

We are looking forward to welcoming the children back to school. It has been a lonely place for the last few months.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.

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MANAGING OUR CHILDREN’S WORRIES ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

At tomorrow night’s PEG meeting, the principal’s report will include some input on managing children’s anxiety about the Coronavirus. I will address such issues as accepting what our children are feeling, staying connected with friends and family, and maintaining routines. I am hoping that the report will become a forum in which some of those present might also share their own strategies for managing their children’s anxiety. I hope that this will be a wonderful opportunity for us to feel supported, knowing that families are possibly sharing common experiences. Elsewhere in this newsletter are details about the link to the meeting.

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OUR RETURN-TO-SCHOOL FOCUS

The new NSW Premier has revised the staggered return-to-school dates, as follows:

  • Next Monday 18th October: Kindergarten and Year 1.
  • The following Monday 25th October: Years 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Last week, the staff discussed how best to use the time between the return to school and the end of the year. In the best interests of the students, our teaching focus will be on:

  • Religion
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • The wellbeing of the students

It is important that we not only consolidate what has been covered during the period of home-based learning, but that we also ensure that there is a smooth transition from home-based learning to face-to-face learning.

With a focus on academic rigour, it is likely that the end-of-year period of winding down will be shorter than usual. It is more important than ever that students have a valid reason for being absent from school. Time will be very precious.

Thank you in anticipation of your understanding.

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Return to school resouRces

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Sustainable Garden Bed Competition News

Exciting news! The LMCC Sustainable Garden Bed Competition is still going ahead in an altered format. Our garden bed will be delivered to St Pat’s this week and photos of the finished garden will be submitted for judging by the 26th of November. The Green Team will be busy gardening once face to face learning resumes. If you can help them by donating fruit or vegetable plants, rocks or pebbles, mulch, PVC pipes and caps or other gardening supplies, it would be very much appreciated. Students may also like to create weatherproof recycled sculptures over the next few weeks to decorate our garden.

If you are able to donate, or have any questions, please contact me at Claire.browne@mn.catholic.edu.au

We look forward to sharing our completed garden with you as we ‘Grow in Hope’ here at St Pat’s.

Claire Browne

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OUR NEXT PEG MEETING - Tomorrow Wed 13 October 2021

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WELCOME

When the Kindergarten and Year 1 students return to school next Monday, there will be a new face among the Kindergarten students . . . Lachlan will relocating from Star of the Sea Catholic School, Terrigal.

On the following Monday (25th October), Lachlan’s brother Spencer will begin at St Patricks in Year 3.

We know that Lachlan and Spencer will be made to feel very welcome at St Patrick’s.

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SCHOOL PHOTOS

Another of the COVID casualties has been the postponement of the school photos. MSP Photography has penciled in our school photos on Wednesday 17th November to take individual, class and family group photos. This will be contingent on restrictions being lifted to allow external providers to come on site. We will keep you posted.

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UNIFORM SERVICE

The next round of orders for school uniforms are due on Thursday next week – 21st October – closing at 5.00pm. Orders may be made through the QKR app. The uniform items will be ready for collection by about lunchtime on the following day from the school office. Thanks to Sharon and Liz for providing this service to the parent community.

There are still many parcels from the last order round, awaiting collection at the school office.

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LAKES CATHOLIC SCHOOLS REGIONAL TENNIS TRIALS

The Lakes Catholic Schools regional tennis trials will take place at some time between 15th and 24th November – probably Friday 19th November. If your child is in either Year 4 or Year 5, and they play tennis at a competitive level, they will be eligible to trial for the regional team. If you are interested, please email me at peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au.

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WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK

All parents, carers, teachers and Years 4 to 6 students at St Patrick’s are invited to contribute to a community consultation survey. The survey is open from today until Friday 29th October. The survey is anonymous, voluntary and easy to use. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and covers people’s perceptions of the school’s support for learning, positive behaviours, and the promotion of safety and inclusion.

We ran the survey in 2020, and the insights that we gained into parent and staff communication, activities and practices at home, and parent voice on the school’s support of learning, faith formation and behaviour, have assisted us in building an accurate picture that we have used to improve our practices this year. I anticipate that the data that we gather from this survey will assist us as we plan for 2022.

Student survey: The Years 4 to 6 students will complete the survey when they return to school. If you do not want your child to participate in the survey, please opt out by emailing me at peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss the survey.

Peter Green.

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