The School Newsletter Week 2, Term 3 2021

What's Coming Up?

  • Mon 19-Thu 22 July: Students and staff will undertake the biannual lockdown and evacuation drills
  • Wed 21 July: Parent Engagement Group meeting. Topic of presentation: ‘How to support your child in teaching them to read’ 7:15pm Light refreshements for a 7:30pm start.
  • Mon 26 July: NAIDOC celebrations -  ‘out of uniform’ day - the students are invited to wear the colours of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags.
  • Fri 7 Aug: Mary Mackillop Games


From the Principal

Last Thursday I sent out a Compass message explaining how afternoon congestion is leading to some practices that are dangerous to pedestrians and frustrating for local residents. I suggested that driving around the block if you encounter a queue at the Kiss and Ride zone might be a good idea. I thank the parent who has advised me that this is not such a good idea, as it leads to congestion where vehicles turn right from Caldwell Street into Park Avenue, and further congestion where motorists attempt to turn right from Park Avenue into Northcote Avenue.

Since last Thursday, some parents and carers have delayed collecting their children from the Kiss and Ride zone. This seems to have relieved some of the congestion, and I therefore encourage you (not all of you!) to delay picking up your child if you are not in too much of a hurry in the afternoons. We are happy to wait with your children until 3.10pm if it means that we can provide a safer exit from the school and less frustration for the local residents. If you are a little later than 3.10pm, don’t panic . . . We will not abandon them on the footpath!

One more request! The morning drop-off is causing some frustration for some parents and carers. Apparently some drivers are not driving as far as the sandwich board displaying the STOP sign. This limits the number of vehicles that can use the Kiss and Ride zone and, consequently, some drivers are forced to make difficult decisions – sometimes to park illegally, sometimes to pull into the kerb in front of other vehicles, and sometimes to do a lap of the block. Furthermore, the morning Kiss and Ride queue is being held up by drivers who get out of their vehicles, brush their children’s hair, pack their children’s bags, etc. If you are able to do these things at home, the Kiss and Ride zone will flow more freely, pedestrian safety will improve, and frustration levels will be minimised.

Thank you for your understanding and have a good week.

Peter Green.



During Term 3, the students in Years 2 to 6 will have the opportunity to participate in the ICAS Assessments, which are designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing, Spelling Bee and Digital Technologies. Participation in these assessments is entirely optional. The assessments will be administered during school hours on the following dates:

  • Monday 9th August: Writing: Years 3 to 6.
  • Monday 9th August: Digital technologies: Years 3 to 6.
  • Tuesday 17th August: English: Years 2 to 6.
  • Tuesday 24th August: Science: Years 2 to 6.
  • Tuesday 24th August: Spelling: Years 2 to 6.
  • Tuesday 31st August: Mathematics: Years 2 to 6.

Our school has signed up for the ICAS Assessments parent payment system (PPS). Through this system, parents and carers can pay for ICAS online. If your child will be participating in any of these assessments, please use the following details to register your child and to pay for the assessments:

  1. Parent page link: https://shop.icasassessments.com/pages/pps
  2. School access code for parents: JHR549

The due date for registering and paying for the assessments is:

  • Writing: Sunday 25th July.
  • Digital technologies: Sunday 25th July.
  • English: Sunday 1st August.
  • Science: Sunday 8th August.
  • Spelling: Sunday 8th August.
  • Mathematics: Sunday 15th August.

To ensure that we have enough devices for all of the students, the students of Years 5 and 6 will be required to use their BYOD devices for these assessments. Each student’s device must have the required locked-down browser. This secure locked-down browser is designed to do the following during the test(s):

  • Prevents students from accessing other applications, web pages, software or hardware features and only provides access to the test player.
  • Prevents use of operating system commands such as functions accessed by Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
  • Disables features such as the camera, spell check, screenshot, home, keyboard shortcuts, back and power buttons.

Please download the required browser onto your child’s device by Monday 2nd August to ensure that the device is ready for test day. The instructions on how to download the browser onto your child’s device are available at https://www.icasassessments.com/support/technical-requirements-locked-down-browser

If you require more information about ICAS, you may either contact me or visit https://www.icasassessments.com/products-icas

Peter Green.


A reminder that our inaugural Parent Engagement Group (PEG) meeting will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) evening by Zoom – not in the school library as we had originally planned. The meeting will commence at 7.30pm and will conclude at 9.00pm.

The focus of the input from three of our teachers will be: “How do we teach reading and what texts do we recommend for home reading?”

If anybody wishes to place something on the agenda for discussion during general business, please email your agenda item/s to peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au, no later than this afternoon.

Similarly, if you have any questions (with notice) that you wish to ask at the meeting, could I please have your questions by this afternoon.

Looking forward to seeing you online.



NAIDOC Week took place during the school holidays from the 4th to 11th July. Unfortunately, many of our local events were cancelled this year.

Next Monday, 26th July, we will commemorate NAIDOC Week at St Patrick’s. We will celebrate 65,000 years of history, culture and achievements by exploring the 2021 theme, ‘Heal Country’. The students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with art, traditional games, stories and language.

This year’s theme, ‘Heal Country’, calls for all Australians to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction. The NAIDOC 2021 activities invite students to respect and embrace cultural knowledge and values.

I encourage families to visit some local exhibits:

  • Newcastle Art gallery to explore the ‘Warwar’ exhibit which showcases the amazing art and rare artefacts of the Torres Strait.
  • Newcastle Library, which has original artworks from two picture books:

o ‘The Outback’, illustrated by Australia’s leading children’s picture book artist Bronwyn Bancroft, and written by Annaliese Porter, a descendant of the Gamilaraay people.

o ‘Dry to Dry: The Seasons of Kakadu’, a nature story picture book, written by Pamela Freeman and illustrated by Liz Anelli. The book is a stunning tour of Kakadu National Park, showcasing detailed illustrations and the extraordinary story of the yearly weather cycle and attendant changing wildlife.

Monday will be an ‘out of uniform’ day . . . the students are invited to wear the colours of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags.

Due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to invite parents and carers onto the site to attend our NAIDOC Week commemoration. Thank you for your understanding.

Mr Ben McCarthy


Triple M Breakfast Broadcast

Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, the Triple M breakfast show, which had been postponed to 30th July, has been postponed indefinitely. We are hoping for a Term 4 date.



We thought you might like to see Sunshine’s latest artwork. Thank you for sharing it with us, Sunshine.



The members of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Swansea Conference, thank most sincerely the students, parents and staff of St Patrick’s Primary School for the generous donations of warm clothes and blankets which were presented to the Conference last week. Special thanks to Mr Daniel Lockwood and the Mini Vinnies Team for organising the collection.

The Conference is also grateful for the wonderful donations of toiletries which the students have packaged ready for gifting to the many homeless people who call on the Society for assistance.

The donated items will greatly help the people in our area who are in such need, and we thank you all on their behalf.



The uniform service will be closed for face to face service until further notice. Orders placed on the Qkr! app will still be filled and sent home with children on a Friday .


As you can see from the roster below, we still require volunteers this term - THIS FRIDAY we urgently need another lunch time volunteer.

Without a recess volunteer, children are being given their recess orders at lunch time.


Term 3 Content

Summaries of the Term 3 content for each grade have been uploaded to the Compass news feed area or can be downloaded below.



In line with our Pastoral Care and Discipline Policy, each teacher is allocated a budget at the beginning of each term for rewarding appropriate behavioural choices. Each teacher has negotiated the goals and the rewards with their students. In order to be rewarded, each student must meet the goals set by their teacher. It may be necessary to exclude a student from a special treat or reward if they fail to meet the goals that the teacher sets.



We recently advertised an opportunity for students and their families to purchase a personally engraved paver to be laid in our outdoor sacred space. The pavers have arrived and we have laid them.



Your school is bringing a brand new beat to the school grounds! The Music Bus, a one-stop music education experience. The high-tech, mobile music classroom visited your school this week, and their highly-trained teachers introduced staff, parents and students to the musical opportunities on offer as part of The Music Bus curriculum.





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