The School Newsletter Week 4, Term 4 2019

What's Coming Up

Monday 4 - Wed 6 November: Life Education Program

Monday 4 Nov - Fri 15 Nov: Year 2 Daily swimming program

Thursday 7 November: Musica Viva school incursion

Thursday 7 November: Year 5/6M visit Tenison Apartments

Friday 8 November: K/5/6 Celebrate Mass in the @ 9:30 - All welcome.

From the Principal

For Catholics, the month of November is traditionally the time to remember the dead. This is a legacy of the northern hemisphere when winter is signified by shorter days and longer nights. At this time we recall memories of our deceased loved ones, we tidy their gravestones and we offer prayers. Maybe the symbolism of the southern hemisphere is more positive. As we move into longer days surrounded by explosions of new life, our season is full of hope. We see darkness overcome and new life celebrated.

My mother died in late November 2011, but she left a special gift for us at her funeral Mass . . . a beautiful poem which she had asked to be printed inside the funeral booklet. I still cannot read it without becoming emotional. If you read the poem (see below), you will understand why what should have been a pretty ordinary Christmas for our family became a joyful celebration of her life.

Throughout this year, many of our St Patrick’s families have lost loved ones. Let us pray during the month of November that those people will experience fullness of peace and joy with God, our Father in heaven, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

This is the poem that my mother left for us. Unfortunately I have been unable to find the author of the poem:

I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below, with tiny lights like heaven's stars reflecting on the snow. The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear, for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear, but the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here. I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring, for it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart, but I am not so far away, we really aren't apart. So be happy for me dear ones, you know I hold you dear, and be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above. I send you each a memory of, my undying love. After all "love" is the gift more precious than pure gold. It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do, for I can't count the blessing or love he has for each of you. So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.

Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Have a good week.

Peter Green


This Week's PBL

From The REC

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Two weeks ago, the Mini Vinnies team met with the St Vincent de Paul Swansea Conference and learnt about the outreach they provide to families in our local community. We were surprised to hear that there are so many people in Swansea who receive help and who rely on the generosity of Vinnies. Our donations go to a worthy cause.

Can you believe Christmas is only weeks away? Mini Vinnies is busy driving outreach initiatives and we would like your help with the following:

1. St. Vincent de Paul “Summer Clothing Drive”

This week and next week, please bring in good quality summer clothes for those doing it tough!

2. Gifts of Love – Christmas Appeal (Beginning this week and finishing on Tuesday 26th November)

The Mini Vinnies team is collecting Christmas food items for the St Vincent de Paul “Gifts of Love” appeal. We want to help local families who are struggling to make ends meet to have a happy Christmas. You can help by bringing in one item that will be placed in a hamper. Please see your class listed below and bring an item by Tuesday 26th November;

  • Kindergarten: Small ‘new’ toys (unwrapped)
  • Year 1: Christmas lollies
  • Year 2: Christmas chocolates
  • Year 3: Christmas cakes/puddings
  • Year 4: Christmas snacks (nuts, pretzels, chips, etc.)
  • Year 5: Christmas crackers/bonbons
  • Year 6: Christmas biscuits/puddings

3. Thank You

Thanks for your support of Crazy Socks Day and the Rosary Beads fundraiser! Our students really do have crazy socks and some even wear them in their hair! We raised $270.85. Our donations will be sent to the Catholic Mission Ghana appeal.

4. The Holy Land Pilgrimage

My husband and I were lucky enough to visit the Holy Land during the school holidays with a wonderful group of employees from the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office. Here are a few places that we visited: Jordan, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Jerusalem, The Old City of Jerusalem, Church of the Nativity, Nazareth, Basilica of the Annunciation, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Magdala, Church of the Primacy of Peter, Mount Tabor, Cana, Mount of Beatitudes, Jacob’s well, Church of the Dormition (Mary’s assumption), Church of the Agony.

It was awesome to see the places of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection. I loved listening to how the early Christians venerated these holy places and the effort that Saint Helena took to preserve the sites.

I found the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Church of the Dormition to be spiritually moving places. I was drawn to prayer and to ponder the wonder and awe of the life of Mary and Jesus, and the opportunity to be in such significant places. We also learnt about the ongoing tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians and we heard heartfelt stories from local people. I will forever hold them in my heart.

The Old City of Jerusalem was incredibly beautiful. I watched the local Jews, Muslims and Christians live and interact in this city. An unforgettable and spiritually nourishing experience!

Leanne Hyland

Religious Education Coordinator

Reconciliation Information Night

  • This week there will be a parent information session for the parish Reconciliation program.
  • Reconciliation is the beginning of the cycle of the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist, and students in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are eligible to enrol in the Reconciliation program.
  • There will be two information sessions:
  1. In the St Patrick’s Church meeting room on Thursday 7th November at 3.45pm, and:
  2. In the Belmont parish hall on Thursday 7th November at 7.00pm.
  • You are only required to attend one of the meetings.
  • If you will be attending the meeting, please phone the parish office as soon as possible on 4945 4402. You will need to let them know your name, your child’s name and your phone number.
  • If your child was baptised in another parish, you will need to bring to the meeting a copy of your child’s baptism certificate.
  • If your child was baptised in this parish, you will need to know the date of your child’s Baptism and the church in which he/she was baptised.
  • Parents . . . the sacramental programs are a wonderful opportunity for your children to participate more actively in the life of the Catholic Church. If your child has been baptised, please encourage him/her to continue this journey with Christ by engaging with the parish sacramental programs.

Year 2 Daily Swimming Program

Our daily two-week swimming program for Year 2 continues all of this week and next week.

  • Where: Swansea Swimming Centre
  • When: Monday 4 November - Friday 15 November. Every day in weeks 4 & 5 of Term 4, 2019.
  • Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
  • Travel: Private bus travel – and car pool

You Can Do It Education

During this term, our “You Can Do It” focus at St Patrick’s is on developing our students’ persistence.

One of the Habits of the Mind that persistent people have developed is the ability to give effort. The longer and harder I try without giving up on something that is difficult to do, the more successful I will be.

Remember our “You Can Do It” parent training on Tuesday 18th November, 2.00 to 3.00 in school library. Topic: “Positive mindset for achievement (Confidence, Persistence, Organisation).”

RSVP to rachel.wright@mn.catholic.edu.au

Student Allocations in 2020

As you are aware, next year we will have two Year 1 classes, a Year 4/5 class and a Year 5/6 class. In allocating the Year 1 students and the Year 5 students to classes, it is important that we group them to ensure that their social and emotional needs are met. To this end, we rely on the advice of the parents and carers.

Parents of students in Year 1 2020: If you have a preference as to which other children you believe your children would work well with, please advise me by email.

Parents of students in Year 5 2020: If you have a preference as to which other children you believe your children would work well with, please advise me by email. If you have a preference for either Year 4//5 or Year 5/6, please advise me by email.

My email address is peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au.

We will do our best to accommodate the wishes of the parents and carers. However, we will also use our own professional judgment in regard to what is best for the students.

All requests should be submitted no later than Friday this week, 8th November.

Peter Green.

ICAS Digital Technology Results

Recently, five students entered the University of NSW ICAS Digital Technologies Competition. We congratulate these students on their results:

  • Layla and Thomas each earned a Participation award for their work.
  • Emma W (top 39%) and Kate E (top 43%) each earned a Merit award in this competition.
  • Dylan W earned a Distinction award for his work, scoring in the top 2% of Year 5 participants throughout Australia.

The students received their certificates at last Friday’s assembly.

Newcastle Perm Maths Comp results

We congratulate all of the students of Years 5 and 6 who recently competed in the Newcastle Permanent Primary Mathematics Competition.

In particular, we congratulate the following students on their achievements in this competition:

Distinction awards

  • Victoria (percentile rank 94.32)
  • Sarah (PR 90.76)
  • Dylan (PR 87.48)
  • Thomas (PR 84.90)
  • Kate (PR 82.86)
  • Harrison (PR 82.86)
  • Oliver (PR 82.86)

Merit awards

  • Lochlain F (PR 80.67)
  • Alex (PR 80.07)
  • Ayla (PR 74.78)
  • Lachlan C (PR 74.25)
  • Caiden (PR 71.26)
  • Aiden (PR 70.52)
  • Summer-Rose (PR 70.52)
  • Olivia (PR 68.21)
  • Jeremiah (PR 60.18)
  • Charlotte (PR 60.18)
  • Angus (PR 57.88)
  • Kai C (PR 55.51)
  • Jemima (PR 54.43)

These students received their certificates at last Friday’s assembly.

Indigenous Foundation Netball Coaching

Netball New South Wales is offering a free Indigenous Foundation Coaching Course for Indigenous people.

  • When: Sunday 10th November 2019.
  • Where: Newcastle Netball Association
  • Time: 10.00am to 1.00pm.
  • What to bring: Comfortable clothing, water bottle, hat, sunscreen, notepad, pen.
  • To register: send your name, date of birth, address, phone number and email address to Sam White, Participation Coordinator:Community Engagement - email swhite@netballnsw.com. Phone 02 9951 5006 for more information.

Congratulations Peppa

Last Thursday the Smith Family launched its Christmas Appeal. Our very own Peppa (Year 4) is the face of the ad campaign. You will see Peppa at www.thesmithfamily.com.au/christmas-charity. Congratulations Peppa . . . you are a star and we are very proud of you.

Christmas Card Competition

The Federal Member for Shortland, Pat Conroy, is again inviting students from Years 3 and 4 from across his electorate to participate in his annual Christmas card competition. The theme for 2019 is “You and your pet at Christmas”.

The winning design will be professionally printed and will be Pat’s Christmas card for 2019. He will send the Christmas cards to every household in the electorate, as well as to community groups, Members of Parliament and the Governor General. The winning artist will receive books of their choosing to the value of $50. The winning school will receive books to the value of $100. Entries must be submitted on A4 size paper with the student’s name, age and school printed clearly on the back.

The competition closes on Wednesday this week (6th November) at 4.00pm, and they must be either:

  • Delivered to Pat’s electorate office at Suite 1A, 571 Pacific Highway, Belmont, or:
  • Mailed to PO Box 499, Belmont. 2280.

Canteen News

A big thank you to all the parents and grandparents who regularly help in the canteen. Without you, the children would not have their special lunch every Friday.

A big thank you to Marlene who continues to run the ‘cooking with kids’ program with the Years 5 and 6 students. The children love this opportunity to cook food for the other students.

The canteen will be closed at recess for the remainder of the term because of a lack of volunteers. If anyone would like to volunteer for this role, it would be greatly appreciated. During the summer months, the children love to buy an ice block at recess to cool them down.

Many thanks.

Shermaine Fitzgerald.

Embroidery Fundrasier


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