The School Newsletter Week 1, Term 4 2019

What's Coming Up

Thursday 17 October: Soccer Gala Day.

Friday 18 October: Year 1 / 2 Excursion to Hunter Wetland Centre.

Friday 18 October: Polding Athletics @ Homebush (Madison, Connor & Kai).

Tuesday 22 October: Over the Rainbow School Disco - Come Dressed in Your Brightest Colours. 6.00pm - 8.15pm.

Wednesday 23 October: P&F Meeting @ 6.30.

Thursday 24 October: Year 2 to Visit Tenison Apartments.

Thursday 24 October: Yr 4/5 & Yr 5/6 2020 Composite Class Meeting for Parents @ 3.15pm in the library

From the Principal

During the school holidays I spent an afternoon at the movies. I must admit that, while I am not a great fan of horse racing as a sport, I found the movie Ride Like A Girl to be very inspiring, because the qualities displayed by Michelle Payne are exactly the dispositions and behaviours that we endeavor to develop in our students through the You Can Do It program: confidence, ability to get along with others, organisation, persistence and resilience.

Spoiler alert . . .

As a little girl, Michelle Payne dreamt of winning the Melbourne Cup – horse racing's toughest two-mile race. Michelle has faced many obstacles throughout her life, including the death of her mother when she was very young; estrangement from her father; the death of her sister from a horse fall; her own near fatal fall form a horse; and a misogynistic horse racing fraternity. With the love of her family Michelle never gave up and, against all the medical advice and the protests of her siblings, she rode on. Michelle overcame impossible odds of 100 to 1 to ride Prince of Penzance to victory at the 2015 Melbourne Cup . . . the first and only female jockey to win the race.

At the very heart of our work at St Patrick’s is our desire to enable our students to become successful. We believe that successful people are those who are confident, organised, persistent, resilient and able to get along with people. These dispositions do not develop by accident. As teachers, we must incorporate them into our school culture, our curriculum and our instructional practices. As parents, we must foster these dispositions and behaviours by teaching our children well, and by sometimes allowing them to experience failure and disappointment.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to see this movie, I strongly urge you to do so.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.

You Can Do It Education

St Patrick’s Swansea values our students’ social and emotional wellbeing and we explicitly teach social and emotional learning through You Can Do It! Education (YCDI). YCDI is a school-home collaborative approach to promote the social-emotional wellbeing and achievement of all children.

YCDI’s mission is to strengthen the five social and emotional skills and values (the “5 Keys”) which all children need in order to manage their learning, their behaviour and their emotional wellbeing. These five keys are Confidence, Persistence, Organisation, Getting Along and Resilience. Unique among educational programs, YCDI emphasises the importance of teaching children different “Ways of Thinking” that help them to develop in each of these five areas.

We will aim to run a ‘You Can Do It’ parent workshop later in the term. Look out for a date and time in upcoming newsletters.

Soccer Gala Day Reminders

  • When: This Thursday 17 October 2019
  • Venue: Northern NSW Football Complex, 13 Park Road, Speers Point (off The Esplanade).
  • Times: Parents and carers will arrange transport for their children. We are required to be at Speers Point between 8.00am and 8.15am, in time for the general assembly at 8.30am.
  • What to wear: Sport uniform polo shirt, sport uniform shorts, football/soccer boots, shin pads.
  • Canteen: A canteen service will be available on the day.
  • Wet weather: If the gala day is postponed or cancelled due to wet weather, we will contact you via Compass and Facebook as early in the morning as possible.

Gala Day Safety Considerations

  1. At the venue, no students are to use the toilets without being accompanied by a buddy student.
  2. Asthmatic students must bring their medication.
  3. Students must drink plenty of fluid prior to their games.
  4. Students must wear hats while not playing.
  5. Students must bring sunscreen and to apply it regularly throughout the day.

Canteen Roster

As you can see, we are in desperate need of volunteers to work in the canteen this term. Are you a registered volunteer? Can you spare a few hours on a Friday? - Please contact the school office or Shermaine Fitzgerald ASAP with your availability. Without volunteers the canteen cannot open. - Thank you

This Week's PBL

Composite Class Meeting

A number of parents have been asking questions about the Year 4/5 and Year 5/6 composite classes that we will run in 2020. I am proposing to run a meeting on Thursday next week (24th October) beginning at 3.15pm in the school library. At that meeting we will:

  • Present research related to composite classes.
  • Ask the parents to share their experiences of composite classes, as well as their concerns for next year's proposal.
  • Tell you about my experiences of teaching composite classes, both positive and negative.
  • Outline how we will structure the classes in 2020.
  • Outline how we will cover the syllabus content for two different grades within one class.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Peter Green.

Kiss and Ride

Thanks to all the drivers who have made the morning drop-offs and the afternoon pickups run so much more smoothly. Remember to drive as far as possible to the eastern end of the Kiss and Ride zone before stopping your vehicle.

As from this week, there will be no staff member waiting in the Kiss and Ride zone in the mornings to assist the children from the vehicles. Whilst this has been a lovely way to greet the children each morning and a good opportunity to say hi to the parents and carers, we need to have staff to monitor the safety and wellbeing of the students on the playground. Therefore, we now have signs on the footpath requesting drivers to move to the end of the Kiss and Ride zone. Thank you in anticipation of your compliance with this request.

Nasty Sandfly Season

Unfortunately our beautiful position on the water exposes our school yard to sandflies. Sandflies are an absolute pest of an insect. They are tiny and almost invisible to the naked eye, and quite often you don't know you're being bitten. The bites can take up to 24 hours to really take effect too.


  • cover up as much as possible with long socks etc.
  • strong insect repellent. - Apply liberally before coming to school and give children a roll on to keep in their bag
  • don't just spray exposed skin, spray underneath clothing around openings as well.


  • get some Soov or antiseptic cream to treat the bites with. It will help take the sting out (at least temporarily) and will assist in the bites not getting infected if you keep worrying at them.
  • Cold packs, compresses etc really help. Freezing wet face washers, applying them over the bites, and then bandaging them into place is good for little children and can help with sleep. A hydrocortisone cream may also help, as can antihistamines.

Publicly Speaking . .

On Tuesday 24th September, four students represented St Patrick’s at the Lakes Regional Catholic Primary Schools public speaking competition at St Joseph’s Charlestown. Our representatives were Tamika F, Lacey J, Alex W and Oliver Mc. I was really proud of every one of our speakers who competed very strongly against nine other schools. I should make special mention of Lacey who came third in a field of 18 speakers in the Year 3/4 division. Whilst only the first and second placegetters will proceed to the Diocesan public speaking finals, Lacey will be invited to attend if either of the first or second placegetters are unable to attend.

Thanks also to our teachers who prepared our speakers so thoroughly.

Peter Green.

Rainbow Disco

Come Dressed in Your Brightest Colours
  • When: Next Tuesday, 22 October 2019
  • Time: 6:00pm - 8:15pm
  • Where: In the School Hall. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Tickets: Can be purchased on the door. $5.00 per child, or $10 per family
  • Meal Deal: A meal deal is now open and can be ordered using the QKR App. The meal deal consists of a hot dog and drink for $4.00 (an extra hot dog is $1.00). Meal deal orders close at 9pm on Sunday 20 October.

Life in a Rock Pool

Some wonderful news about Lacey (Year 4). Lacey won first prize in the Year 3/4 division of the Finite Gallery Junior Art Prize 2019. Entries were received from students across the Hunter using a broad range of media, including rock art, ceramics, photography, 3D sculpture, acrylic painting and collage. Lacey’s exhibit was called ‘Life in a Rock Pool’, for which she used posca pens to draw sea creatures on small rocks that she had found at rock pools around Caves Beach. She then placed the rocks onto a large flat rock surrounded by driftwood and seaweed. If you would like to visit the exhibition where Lacey’s winning entry is displayed, visit the Finite Gallery at 60 Caves Beach Road, Caves Beach, where it will be on display until the end of October. Congratulations Lacey!

Lost Uniforms

There are many items of school uniform clothing that have gone missing. Most of these items are clearly marked with the names of the children who own them. It is quite possible that those items of clothing have been inadvertently taken by other children and that the parents have not noticed that their children have somebody else’s clothing. Would everybody please check that your child’s uniform items belong to them? If you find somebody else’s clothing at home, please return those items to the school office or to your child’s teacher. Thank you in anticipation of your assistance.

Chocolate Wheel Donations

At our P&F Christmas function on 12th December, we will be running a chocolate wheel. If there are any parents, grandparents or other members of the community who are in a position to offer a prize for the chocolate wheel – anything from the value of, say, $20 to any amount – please get in touch with Belinda Newell at newell.belinda@gmail.com


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