The School Newsletter Week 10, Term 4 2019

What's Coming Up

Wednesday 18 December: Last day for students. Year 6 'Clap out' at 2.30pm

Term 1 Calendar 2020

  • Thu 23 Jan: Last day to order school uniforms through QKR.
  • Fri 24 Jan: Uniform service open, 9.00 to 10.00.
  • Tue 28 Jan: Staff returns to school.
  • Wed 29 Jan: Years 1 to 6 return to school.
  • Thu 30 Jan: Kindergarten students start school. (9.15: Morning tea for parents of new Kindergarten students).
  • Fri 31 Jan: 8.30-9.30: Uniform service open.
  • Mon 3 – Thu 6 Feb: Lockdown and evacuation drills.
  • Tue 11 Feb: Parent information sessions after school.
  • Wed 26 Feb: P&F meeting at 6.30pm. / Ash Wednesday.
  • Mon 2 March: Catholic Schools Week begins. / Enrolment period for 2021 begins.
  • Tue 10 March: Lent/Easter concert (Michael Mangan)
  • Tue 17 March: St Patrick’s Day.
  • Wed 25 March: P&F meeting at 6.30pm.
  • Fri 27 March: School cross country.
  • Fri 3 April: Interim reports sent home.
  • Tue 7 Apr: Gymnastics display, 9.10am-10.00am.
  • Fri 10 April: Last day of Term 1.

From the Acting Principal

Today we celebrated our Year Six students at their graduation mass. It was a beautiful occasion with few dry eyes around. I have always found teaching Year Six a blessing and a curse. The blessing: as their teacher I would receive the benefit of all the hard work over the years of the other teachers. The curse: at this time of year I must farewell my students not only from my class, but from my school. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the dedicated team that worked with these children and to witness their personal, spiritual and academic growth this year.

My principal’s address was a difficult one to deliver and as I was struggling to get through it without a box of tissues, I left a few parts out. I would like to share the short speech in its entirety here. Enjoy.

Year 6 2019,

I remember when I arrived at St Patrick’s in 2016. You were in Year 3 and I thought wow…. you have a lot of spirit and energy. As a school we were determined to learn and understand you, and help you harness that spirit. We took an interest in you on the playground and in the classroom. We learnt more about your families, your interests and your backgrounds. You are beautiful children from beautiful and caring families. We have had ups and downs, tears and triumphs, successes and challenges. The adults in the room will agree that this is an accurate reflection of life to come.

I say sincerely to you Year Six 2019 – you are one of our greatest success stories. You make us proud. You have amazed us when we see how brilliant and talented you can be, excited us with your enthusiasm and melted us with your care for the people and world around you. Your parents, families and our staff have been more invested in you than you could ever know or appreciate.

Leave here this year and keep making us proud. Love each other as Christ loves you. Be good humans and make other people’s lives better for knowing you. We will miss you.

To all the families of St Patrick’s we wish you a safe and blessed Christmas break. We thank you for your support throughout 2019 and look forward to next year.

Mr. Ben McCarthy

200 Nights Reading Party

Congratulations to the following students who completed AND recorded 200 nights of reading throughout the year.

Year 2: Jack, Eva, Blake , Zahli and Isabella

Year 3: Teddy, Lara, Layla and Hayden

Year 4: Lacey, Robbie and Ben

As an acknowledgement of these students, their commitment to reading and their perseverance in getting their Home Reading Folders filled in and signed, they were presented with a book and lunch at McDonald's last week.

Well done!

Karen Devlin

Swimming Carnival

Last Friday 13th December we held our annual swimming carnival. Congratulations to Seagull House for winning with a huge total of 241 points. All swimmers competed eagerly, demonstrating wonderful fair play and encouragement, the students had a wonderful time with the novelty events and enjoyed cheering on their fellow team mates.

A huge thankyou to the many helpers who assisted to make our carnival run smoothly. Particularly Jon Clarke our magnificent starter and our amazing timekeepers Shermaine Fitzgerald, Lachlan Fitzgerald, Brendan Fitzgerald, Tina Hendriks, Steven Jack, Jacob McIvor, Jodie McIvor, Bree Stedman, Amy Stewart, Andy Wass, Margaux Windever and Tim Windever. Thank you Owen Hammond for your awesome photos of the day, some of which can be viewed here and also on the school Facebook page.

Also an enormous thank you to our younger assistants who supported with the novelties, marshalling and pool side supervision including Alyssa Ayling, Gabi Dent, Lachlan McMaster, William McMaster, Emily Ogden and Leah Stewart. Thank you to the wonderful staff of St Patrick’s who worked throughout the day to ensure that the carnival was a huge success.

We now have 23 swimmers representing our school at the Regional Swimming Carnival on Monday 17th February, 2020. More information will be sent home in the New Year. Swimming Champions will receive their medals at our first assembly in 2020.

Mrs Ogden

Sport Uniform in Term 1 2020

In Term 1 next year, we will again engage the services of “Primarily Active” and the Caves Beach gym to deliver weekly gymnastics lessons to the classes. These lessons will take place on Tuesdays, beginning in the first week of the term. Therefore, the students will be required to wear their sport uniforms to school on Tuesdays during Term 1.

During Terms 2, 3 and 4, the sport uniform will be worn on the following days: Thursdays: Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2. Fridays: Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

School Shoes

Undoubtedly a number of parents will need to replace their children’s school shoes during the school holidays in preparation for the new school year. In choosing your child’s shoes, please note the following uniform regulations in regard to shoes:

  1. The shoes worn with the summer and winter uniforms are black leather lace-up, elasticised or buckle shoes that are able to be polished. Sport shoes, canvas shoes, suede shoes, slip-on shoes, etc. are not acceptable. Please do not be persuaded by your children to purchase anything other than these shoes. Thank you in anticipation of your understanding.
  2. Shoes that are rarely or never polished look terrible and they do not last as long as shoes that are cared for. Children (even young ones) should be expected to polish their own shoes at least weekly.

Classroom Supplies 2020

A PDF copy of the supply list below has also been posted on the parent portal for easier printing.

Super Tennis Thomas

Thomas McCullough-Hendriks recently competed in the State Junior Championships for tennis. This was an invitation only event and the top four players in each region of the state earned their positions to participate in the event through the Junior Development series over a 6 month period. Thomas finished first at the regional level going on to compete at state level. His hard commitment to his chosen sport payed off. He won the state title!!!

Thomas has also been selected as one of 4 athletes in 12/u from Country Tennis NSW to participate in the “Country vs City” challenge at the ATP cup at Olympic park in Sydney in Jan. Be sure to watch your TV on Jan 4 to catch a glimpse!!!

Carols by the Sea

A story being published in MN News.

The importance of gathering as a Catholic community is cherished at this time of year for our schools. We grow together as we prepare for and anticipate the celebration of Christmas. The parents, friends and staff at St Patrick’s, Swansea have worked together to support our children in their development throughout 2019.

Last week our community gathered for the Parents and Friends organised event, ‘Carols by the Sea’. Earlier on this day we had celebrated together to recognise our student achievement, effort and community building spirit. It was fitting that this was followed by families and friends enjoying good company and reflecting on the year. The staff and parents of St Patrick's formed a band to lead the crowd for a second time this year in a ‘Praise and Worship’ session which saw the children surf dancing to the tune of ‘Our God will Reign’. Families were able to dive into a snow cone or coffee, participate in face painting fun or try their luck on the prize wheel. The festivities also included a family and friends photo booth.

Further entertainment on the night saw the students accompanied by our band delighting us with various Christmas songs. This was followed by the students of Stage 2 entertaining us with their nativity play. Just when we thought the night had drawn to a finish the sound of bells was heard and a visit from another special guest was upon us.

Building a positive community takes effort, understanding and commitment. The common goal we seek is for our children to grow. We believe in the adage that it ‘takes a village to raise a child.’ On this night, the village celebrated in song, the village laughed among friends and the village of St Patrick’s continued to ‘Grow in Hope’.

Article by Ben McCarthy

Photo credit: Owen Hammond

Special thanks to all families involved and members of the P&F for pulling together such a wonderful event!

Children’s University

Does your child want to join in the fun of Children’s University?

This program is open to all children who love to learn. The concept of Children’s University (CU) is to recognise and acknowledge kids that find new areas of learning through discovering educational experiences in their local areas. Children work towards gaining hours of learning for different levels of awards. Children can move through many levels of certificates in any one year (awards commence at 30 hours to 1000 hours).

All learning experiences that are out of classroom hours (before school, during lunch, after school and at events in the school holidays) can be recorded in their CU passport. Any one activity is capped at 10 hours to encourage new educational experiences. Activities can be learning experiences at home (i.e. cooking), music classes, art classes, sporting activities and any Learning Destination activity listed on the CU web page.

Children and families are encouraged to explore the 250 Learning Destinations located across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Singleton, Cessnock/Kurri Kurri, Mid North, Central Coast and Port Stephens regions. To find out who is listed, jump on our website: http://childrensuniversity.com.au/ (explore Student and Learning Destination tabs).

If your child is interested to join in the fun:-

  • Cost is $15.00 for your annual membership [this includes their passport, hiring of gowns for graduation, dinner and disco at graduation].
  • Next year at St Patrick’s we will be offering this opportunity for students in Years 4 - 6. We have 15 spaces available so first in will be accepted.
  • If your child is interested in participating, please contact Mrs. Karen Devlin at school or email: karen.devlin@mn.catholic.edu.au by the end of this Term 19/12/2019.


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Created By
Bronwyn Sartori