The School Newsletter Week 3, Term 1 2021


  • Tue 2 Feb: Kindergarten begins. First day of gymnastics lessons. (Every Tues in Term 1).
  • Thu 4 Feb: Sausage sizzle with new Kindergarten families, 4.30 to 6.00.
  • Mon 8 – Fri 12 Feb: Lockdown and evacuation drills.
  • Wed 10 Feb: Parent information sessions on site: (3.10-3.35: Kinder, Year 1) (3.35-4.00: Years 2 , 3 & 4). (4.00-4.25: Years 5 & 6).
  • Friday 12th February: Opening School Mass
  • Tue 16 Feb: Lakes regional Swimmiming Carnival
  • Wed 24 Feb: P& F Meeting @ 6:30pm

From the PrinciPAL

Welcome to the third week of Term 1. I am very pleased to report that the students are settling into the reality of school life. This is no accident. In Term 4 2020 the staff reviewed the school’s Pastoral Care and Discipline policy. The new policy places a heavy emphasis on the importance of establishing rules, expectations and routines with the students early in the school year, building connections within the class group, and building rapport between the teachers and students. Hence, for the first two weeks of Term 1, the teachers are setting aside time each day to:

  • Play ice breaker games and organise team building activities.
  • Jointly construct class rules, based on the school’s PBL framework: Be safe, Be respectful, Be responsible.
  • Develop systems in each classroom for rewarding good behaviour
  • Introduce and reinforce the Zones of Regulation, an approach that we use to teach strategies for controlling emotions and impulses, managing sensory needs and solving conflict.
  • Reinforce the school’s consequences for inappropriate behaviour, including Minor and Major behaviour notifications.
  • Develop verbal and physical signals that each teacher will use to get the attention of the students.
  • Create a calm corner in the classroom and explain how it will work.
  • Teach procedures for assembling at various times of the day, lining up outside the classroom and morning and afternoon routines.
  • Develop rosters for classroom jobs.
  • Create daily visual timetables.
  • Clarify expectations around classroom supplies, e.g. respecting the property of other people, what a student should do if they run out of supplies, etc.
  • Discuss the school’s homework policy.
  • The new Pastoral Care and Discipline policy can be downloaded from our school website. I recommend that parents and carers read it.

I thank the teaching staff for their input into this policy and for their willingness to implement it. We anticipate that setting aside time to cover these areas for the first few weeks will allow the students and teachers to settle into the business of teaching and learning more quickly at the beginning of each year. We welcome your feedback.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.


Welcome to the 2021 school year. I hope that you had a safe and holy Christmas break and that you were all able to spend it with loved ones. As a staff, we look forward to the students being able to share their learning in Religious Education with you at home.

We are hoping that, throughout this year, we will be able to return to the practices that we had in place pre-COVID and that we will be able to invite parents and families to our liturgical celebrations. Unfortunately, we are unable to do this at present, but are now able to hold liturgical celebrations with the students.

This Friday we will hold our Opening School Year Mass and Commissioning of the Year 6 student leaders, beginning at 10.00am. We are permitted to have 160 people in the church, which means that we are unable to invite parents and other family members, but we will live stream the presentation of badges for the parents of those leaders. The live stream will commence at approximately 10.30am, possibly a few minutes later, depending on when the Mass concludes.

Our Term 1 liturgical celebrations

  • Friday 12th February: Opening School Mass @ 10.00am
  • Wednesday 17th February Ash Wednesday
  • Friday 19th March: St Patrick’s Day celebrations
  • Mon 29th March to Thu 1st April: Holy Week

Daniel Lockwood (Religious Education Coordinator)



  • There are some changes to the way the school fees will be billed this year. We are awaiting final instructions from the CSO and expect to be able to have fees finalised and issued by the end of February.
  • Please make sure we have your correct email address on file, as fees are sent out via email only.
  • Please make sure you have completed and returned the 2021 Family Discount and Diocesan Pastoral Contribution Form (a copy can be found here)
  • If you are seeking a Pension or Health Care Card concession, you must return an application form, and provide an updated copy of your current card – this must be done at the beginning of each year. A copy of the relevant application form can be found here.


A reminder about tomorrow’s (Wednesday) meet and greet opportunities for the parents, carers and teachers. The teachers will outline their goals for 2021, discuss school and class routines, and answer questions. We will provide child minding in the library for your children. The schedule will be as follows:

  • 3.10-3.35: All children to go to the library to be supervised. Parents and carers of Kindergarten and Year 1 to meet with teachers in their classrooms.
  • 3.35-4.00: Parents and carers of Years 2, 3 and 4 to meet with teachers in their classrooms.
  • 4.00-4.25: Parents and carers of Years 5 and 6 to meet with teachers in their classrooms.

Please remember to collect your children from the library as you leave! Looking forward to seeing you there.


We will be conducting evacuation and lockdown drills throughout this week. These drills are posted at all exits throughout the school. If you are visiting the school as a volunteer or for another purpose, you are asked to follow the instructions when you hear the alarms.


Last Thursday afternoon we hosted a sausage sizzle for the families of our new Kindergarten students. It was a wonderful opportunity for the families to meet one another. Unfortunately, our old barbecue (which we estimate to about 40 years old) finally gave out on us just as we started cooking. A huge thank you to Bronwyn Sartori and Lynne McMaster who came to the rescue with cooktops, frypans and anything else we could find to cook the food.


This is an invitation Kindergarten parents to join a Zoom chat on matters that are pertinent to the beginning of the school year. The meeting will be facilitated by Cath Garrett-Jones, the Catholic Schools Office Family Engagement Officer. Please RSVP to cath.garrett-jones@mn.catholic.edu.au if you are interested.


In line with our new 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.

The Term 1 incentives that apply to each class are as follows:


  • Individual students: 10 ‘Gotcha’ awards = a lucky dip into the prize box.
  • Groups of students: Winning group gets a weekly prize from the prize box.
  • Whole class: Pompoms are placed into a glass jar to reward appropriate behaviour by the whole class. If the jar is full by the end of the term, there will be an out-of-uniform day and a class party. If a student is issued with two Majors during the term, they will not participate in the class party.

Year 1

  • As students follow (or fail to follow) class rules, they move their name peg up (or down) the ‘Superhero Scale’. Any student who reaches the lowest level (‘Consequence’) is issued with a Minor. Any student who reaches the highest level (‘Superhero’) receives a ‘Gotcha’.
  • 10 ‘Gotcha’ awards = a lucky dip into the prize box.
  • End-of-the-week prize draw: 2 winners each receive 15 minutes of free time.
  • 100 Gotcha awards = 30 minutes of free play.
  • End-of-term class reward: 1700 Gotcha awards = a pizza and ice cream party.

Year 2

  • Each student has the opportunity to earn dollar coins (printed) for exemplary behaviour and attitude. At the end of each week, the students fill in their ‘wallet’ sheet, adding up how much money they have earned and how much more money they need to ‘buy’ their reward. The rewards are:
  • $5 = a Gotcha award.
  • $10 = sit at the teacher’s desk or iPad time.
  • $20 = a lucky dip into the prize box.
  • $50 = an early mark and a certificate.

• Each class also has a class wallet for which dollars are earned for good behaviour. The money in the class wallet is counted each week. The class rewards are:

  • $25 = early mark.
  • $50 = free play.
  • $75 = choice.
  • $100 = end-of-term lunch party.

• The students will be excluded from individual points and rewards if necessary. However, if the class achieves their whole class dollar goal, all students will attend the end-of-term party.

Year 3

The students can earn class dollars, which can be traded for rewards:

  • $5 = Gotcha award.
  • $10 = Sit at Mr Fox’s desk for a session.
  • $15 = 15 minutes of free time.
  • $20 = Choose your weekly job.
  • $30 = Computer time or 30 minutes of free time.
  • $50 = you are the teacher for a session.

• If the class earns $1000 in total throughout the term. They will have a class party at the end of the term.

Year 4

  • Individual students: ‘Gotcha’ awards.
  • Groups of students: Winning group gets a weekly prize.
  • Whole class: Pompoms are placed into a glass jar to reward appropriate behaviour by the whole class. If the jar is full by the end of the term, there will be a morning of bike/scooter riding, an out-of-uniform day and a lunch of hot chips.
  • If a student is issued with two Majors during the term, they will not receive the end-of-term reward.

Year 5

  • Class stamps: For every 5 stamps earned, a student will receive a ‘Gotcha’ award. For every 10 stamps earned, a student will have the choice of either receiving 2 ‘Gotcha’ awards or depositing two poms into the class jar. (Keep reading!).
  • Whole class reward: Pompoms are placed into a glass jar to reward appropriate behaviour by the whole class. If the jar is full by the end of the term, the students will be treated to:
  • A morning of games, sport, art and colouring.
  • A lunch of hot chips.
  • A movie and movie snacks.
  • An out-of-uniform day.
  • Any student who consistently fails to follow school and class rules will be excluded from the end-of-term reward.

Year 6

  • Each student has a reward chart on which they earn marks/stamps for positive behaviour that reflects our school and classroom rules.
  • For every 5 marks/stamps, a student receives a Gotcha award.
  • For every 10 marks/stamps, they receive a class point.
  • At the end of the term there will be a class reward: a BBQ picnic lunch at Swansea Heads.
  • To earn the class reward, Year 6 will be required to earn 40 class points.

For each student to be eligible to receive the class reward, they must:

  • Contribute at least 1 point to the class total.
  • Not have received a Major behaviour notification during the term.
  • The students are also able to exchange Gotcha awards for personal rewards.


Late in Term 4 our Parents and Friends Association held its Annual General Meeting. The following people were voted onto the P&F executive:

  • 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.

We are still looking for somebody to take on the role of President. The duties of the President are as follows:

  • Provide leadership and direction for the Association by working co-operatively and collaboratively with the Principal, Parish Priest and other members of the Executive.
  • Promote the objectives of the Association in dealings with its members.
  • Support the Executive members.
  • Preside at all ordinary association meeting or, if absent, nominate another member of the Executive to preside.
  • Ensure the efficient running of ordinary association meeting.
  • Prepare the agenda for ordinary association meetings in consultation with the Executive and Principal or their delegate
  • Ensure that minutes of the previous meetings are endorsed as being an accurate record of what took place.
  • Prepare and present the Annual Report of the Association, which includes the auditor or reviewer’s report, as well as reports from sub-committees and the President, of major achievements from the preceding year.

There is a wealth of experience among the other members of the Executive, so there will be no shortage of advice and assistance from the others. If you are prepared to nominate yourself for this role, or if you would like more information about what the role entails, please contact Peter Green.


Congratulations to the following students who have been selected to represent St Patrick’s at next Tuesday’s Catholic Schools Regional Swimming Carnival: Aiden B, Hudson B, Jack C, Tamika F, Chloe F, Samuel J, Emily J, Sebastian K, Jacob L, Ben Mc, Sienna P, Sienna R, Madison T, Hayden W, Evan W, Sunshine W, Chelsea W, Emma W and Lara W. We wish our swimmers all the very best. Thanks to Cheryl Ogden who has coordinated our school’s entry at the regional carnival.


WE NEED YOUR HELP. Please consider volunteering in the canteen.


As Liz and Sharon will be working in both the canteen and the uniform service this Friday, the uniform service will be open from 8.30am until 9.00am. The online orders will be filled and given to the students to bring home.

Kosi Challenge

Every year, the Wisman-Santamaria family participate in the Mt Kosi challenge in support of Rare Cancers Australia. Gemma and Elliot usually take the lift to the halfway point where together with their Mum and Dad they finish the climb all together. This year will be the first time their dad, Michael, will not be with them. In his memory, Elliot and Gemma have decided to climb the whole way this year! It will be a huge effort and a very challenging 10.5km steep hike, and 21km round trip. We hope you can help spur them on and support their fundraising efforts by donating using the link below.


To watch a blooper version of the video the children have created, click here


We would like to use this school newsletter to regularly inform our school community about our school’s abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of our students.

The Office of Safeguarding, which is the Diocesan organisation that oversees our school’s safeguarding standards, works with NSW Police, the Office of the Children’s Guardian, the Department of Community and Justice and other statutory authorities to fulfil its responsibilities towards safeguarding children.

The Diocese takes any allegation of misconduct or abusive conduct towards a child as unacceptable. Children can become involved in a diocesan investigation as either the victim of, or as a witness to, alleged abuse or misconduct by a diocesan worker. Being involved in any investigation can be very stressful, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. Investigations conducted by the Diocese aim to understand what has happened when there is a concern that a child may be the subject of abuse or misconduct. The purpose is to reduce any risk that there might be, to help keep children safe, and to offer support to the child and their family.

For more information about the role of the Office of Safeguarding, visit https://officeofsafeguarding.org.au/.


Last week, the Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT launched a publication called “Supporting Diverse Learning in Catholic Schools”. The book was developed by Cheryl Murphy, Deputy Chair of the Council of Catholic School Parents (CCSP) and the mother of Stephen, a former student of our school. As a parent of a child with a disability, Cheryl discovered that resources for parents of children with a disability are extremely limited and that, in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for Stephen, she needed to share with the school details of Stephen’s disability so that the school staff would have the best possible chance of supporting and understanding Stephen. Although this publication is written specifically for parents of children with diverse learning needs, I commend it to every parent who wishes to become the best advocate for their child that they can be. It is a very easy read that covers a range of topics, including:

  • Managing the mornings
  • After school routines
  • Communicating with the school
  • Mobile phones
  • Uniforms
  • And lots more

You can download this resource at https://ccsp.catholic.edu.au/students-with-diverse-learning-needs.

Peter Green.

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